The Place that Started Victoria's Journey
by Victoria Pelman
Growing up in Petah Tikva, there was a little oasis in the middle of an open deserted area. It was abandoned for the most part unless the IDF was doing drills there. In the summer of 2014, during the Operation Protective Edge (Tzuk Eitan) war, this location became a catalyst to Victoria’s decision to study the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There were sirens multiple times a day and civilians had to stay in or near bomb shelters or in crowded areas within cities. The reason for this was that the Israeli advanced defenses system (known as the Iron Dome) would counterattack the missile midair. The oasis was in the outskirts of Victoria’s home town. On the day Israeli tanks were going to enter Gaza Strip, a childhood friend of Victoria took her to that deserted swamp area because they thought there would not be missiles that day. Just before the siren was heard, Victoria was mesmerized by the unique beauty of the place. In the next fifteen seconds, Victoria and her friend were running while watching the missile flying in their direction. They barely escaped with their lives.