On a recent trip to Tel Aviv, Hilla Moridan says she stood and looked around her as a rocket siren sounded. The panic that ensued, the apprehension on people’s faces, the sheer terror that brought the country’s second- biggest city to a momentary standstill – it made her laugh.

It wasn’t the laugh of a sadistic observer who takes joy in watching an entire population choke up with tension. Rather, it was the empathetic laughter that was tinged with a sadness, even envy, one that only a resident of Ashkelon could be permitted to express.


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