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Gunfire, rockets and carnage: Israelis are stunned and shaken by unprecedented Hamas attack
Israelis living in the country’s south near the volatile frontier with Gaza have grown so used to rounds of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants that they hardly bat an eye when the air raid sirens wail
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israelis in the country’s south near the volatile frontier with Gaza have grown so used to rounds of fighting between Israel and Hamas militants that they hardly bat an eye when the air raid sirens wail.
But this time, Hamas has shaken their steely nerves. Residents of southern Israel described Saturday's unprecedented ground assault — with fighters entering their communities in pick-up trucks, on boats and by hang-gliders — as a nightmare come true.
For Israelis working and living within range of Gaza, the sight of Hamas militants roaming outside their homes Saturday – and reports that Hamas had taken dozens of civilians and soldiers captive – marked a terrifying turn of events unlike anything residents had experienced before.
“This was always the nightmare. We told ourselves that one day, the terrorists will come inside here,” said Jehan Berman, a 42-year-old in the small community of Avshalom, just a few kilometers (miles) from Gaza. He added that it took eight hours for the Israeli military to arrive to his kibbutz and start fending off the Hamas fighters. “We cannot live like this.”