Local’s family near Israel-Hamas war see no end in sight to conflict

By David Fleet
Israel —Laurie Rimon remained pessimistic following recent news of a ceasefire proposal announced by mediators on May 6 as the militant group Hamas agreed to halt action in Gaza.
“Unfortunately it was not the cease-fire that Israel had agreed to but a plan to make us the bad guys for refusing,” said Rimon, who has lived in northern Israel since 1973 is the younger sister of Brandon Township resident Jonathan Schechter. “We are okay but unfortunately see no end in sight.”
Rimon and her husband have been feeling the impacts of war since Oct. 7, when fighting broke out between Israel and Hamas, which launched a surprise attack from Gaza into Isreal about 110 miles south of Rimon’s home. The recent ceasefire proposal has been the first breakthrough since the beginning of the seven-month conflict, and while Israel will continue with a negotiated deal the war continues.
“Last week I had to go into our security room twice,” said Rimon, who lives in a kibbutz or a communal settlement unique to Israel near the Lebanese border. “The news here constantly was showing all the demonstrations at the American universities.”
“Our area has heated up more and we have constant rockets being shot into our area by Hezbollah,” she said. “Benjamin Netanyahu (Israeli Prime minister) and his government have completely forgotten about our area and doesn’t seem to care that whole families have already been in hotel rooms for seven months and lots of their houses have been totally destroyed by rocket fire.”
Following the outbreak of war, Schechter remains concerned for his sister and other family members in the Middle East.
“The locals are definitely on edge,” said Schechter, who has traveled extensively in the region over the years. “There’s a general misconception that Israel is concerned about attacks from the Lebanon Army, but that’s not the case. Rather, their focus is on possible rocket attacks from Hamas and Hezbollah.”
Israel is a very small country, about the size of Vermont, said Schechter.
“The borders are mostly quiet,” he said. “Still, tourism in the area continues. And, since I have family in the region I’m planning a trip to Israel next year., and as always do a bit of multi day  adventuresome hiking on the Israel National Trail.   It’s a wonderful and at times challenging  trail that starts near the Israel-Lebanon border and meanders along for 630 miles  through various terrain with the southern end being at the Gulf of Aqaba. The National Geographic named it one of the  best “epic hiking trails” in the world.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.