What happens to Israelis during a war? Gilbert continues: Once the Lebanon War’s ceasefire had held for more than a week. I was eager to see with my own eyes what had happened in northern Israel, so I visited Kiryat Shmona – one of the cities hardest hit during the war. If you look at a map, you’ll find Kiryat Shmona very close to Israel’s northern border with Lebanon. It is a small city, with a population of 24,000. During the conflict it endured more than 1,000 of the 4000 total Katyusha rockets that struck Israel in about a month’s time. Around 2,000 homes were damaged in Kiryat Shmona alone, 150 people were wounded and twelve were killed. One family I was with saw their devastated house on television. We rushed back to find nearly half of their home in ruins. We walked, very carefully, around the interior and saw for ourselves the sorry remains of the kitchen, laundry area, and children’s bedrooms. A little girl’s dresser and mirror, with a red, heart-shaped box containing tiny bottles of cologne, nail polish and hair spray was scorched and covered in ashes. We also looked into the outbuilding where the Katyusha was still firmly embedded in the floor – it had made a direct hit on the house, then ricocheted into the outside storage building.
Through the eyes of a sojourner …»