It was Tuesday, December 30. We had been running in and out of the bomb shelter behind our Sderot Media Center office throughout the day, as Palestinian rockets exploded all around. Usually, when we enter the shelter, it is just us–the SMC office staff–and sometimes a few strangers off the street. This time, when we raced into the shelter, there was a group of Arab construction workers inside who had made it before us.
Ironically, the Arab construction workers were working on building a new bomb shelter nearby. In any case, there were two groups of us, Israelis and Arabs facing each other, when an unarmed Israeli soldier ran into the shelter and stood between us–right in the middle!
The situation was so ridiculous that one of my co-workers burst out saying–“now we can all talk about peace!–we’re all in here together.”
The Arab construction workers looked at us and we looked at them and just burst out laughing. The tension of the day was broken for just a few seconds.
We ended up talking about the rocket attacks and how frightening the day had been. One of the construction workers proudly told us that the bomb shelters would stand against those Palestinian rockets without any problem. “The rocket is nothing compared to this shelter,” he told us in Hebrew.
After we waited for the seconds to be over and the rocket to explode, we said goodbye to our new friends, the Arab construction workers and the quiet Israeli soldier, in a day filled with the terror and absurdities of war.