Students find shelter during Gaza strife

Palestinian school children walk in the rubble on Nov. 26 after an Israeli strike destroyed the Hamas interior ministry in Gaza City. Israel launched its offensive on Nov. 14 in a bid to halt months of Palestinian rocket attacks. It says it inflicted heavy damage on Gaza militants, but the territory’s armed groups fired hundreds of rockets into Israel before a cease-fire was declared Nov. 21. AP PHOTO

A cease-fire was announced Nov. 21 after eight days of conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist political party that governs Gaza.

After the deaths of at least five Israelis and more than 150 Palestinians last week, Egypt and the United States pressured both sides into a truce agreement.

The cease-fire was put into place Nov. 21 and the disputing parties began to talk about resolving their disputes.

The disputes are a result of a long-standing conflict between the two sides.

According to ABC News, the recent disagreement started with Israel’s airstrike on Gaza that killed the Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari, blowing up the car he was riding in.

On Nov. 15 Israel attacked Hamas military sites in Gaza. The New York Times reports that Hamas militants retaliated the following day by targeting the Jerusalem parliament from Gaza for the first time. They sent a missile that landed in a field a few miles south of Bethlehem in the afternoon of Nov. 16. No casualties resulted from the attack.

Around 5 p.m. in Israel on the day of the attack on Jerusalem, missile defense sirens sounded all over the city including the BYU Jerusalem Center campus.

The university had a safety plan for students which included the use of bomb shelters.

According to the Jerusalem Center security update on the Center’s website, “The sirens are triggered when radar detects the trajectory and direction of a missile crossing the Gaza border.” Students on campus were guided to the Center’s bomb shelters immediately.

Those in west Jerusalem hid in the city shelters including the United States Consulate’s shelter near Independence Park.

“We are all safe. We all feel safe as well. I for one don’t feel at all insecure or nervous here,” Rachel Pullan, a junior attending the Jerusalem Center said.

The crisis was far enough away from the Center to not affect the students very much.

The students at the Jerusalem Center didn’t even cancel the dance they had planned for that night.

“The missiles fell far away from any of us and our security team had us in good hands,” Pullan said. “The worst thing was not knowing what was going on. We were out on the streets the next day visiting the Gethsemane and the Garden tomb like we do every Sabbath. If the missiles were to go off again, I would feel even more secure because I would know what to do and what to expect.”

The cease-fire between Israel and Hamas has been implemented.

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