A blaring announcement in Hebrew and I suddenly feel initiated into daily life in Tel Aviv. It was a siren alerting hotel guests to head to the nearest stairwell or bomb shelter, as Hamas rockets apparently targeting central Israel were detected on this early Saturday Sabbath morning.
So, still jet lagged and uncertain of the true time, let alone where to find my clothes, I pulled myself together and headed to the shelter just down the hall. Another half-asleep couple in their hotel robes accompanied me in the stark white room. There are bottles of water on the floor and a couple of chairs as well as an emergency toilet, but, fortunately that wasn't needed; the all clear came within about five minutes.
I texted my colleague, producer Karen Araiza and she rode out the alert in a stairwell. My photographer, Jason Ryan headed to a shelter, but got no farther than the hallway, where he waited it out with a few other guests. We learned a short time later that two rockets had been intercepted and destroyed by Israel's mighty Iron Dome missile defense system.
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I looked out my balcony and saw people jogging and biking on the path along the Mediterranean Sea. It was the start of another day in Israel, a region seemingly peaceful and bucolic, with so much more simmering beneath the surface as the conflict with Hamas continues.