Not long after the single-tone siren went off Friday announcing the beginning of
Shabbat, another very different sounding siren was heard throughout the capital
and its suburbs.
Hamas fired a projectile from Gaza toward Jerusalem,
breaking a long-standing taboo on the city that is home to some of Islam’s
holiest sites as well as a large Palestinian and Israeli-Arab
The rocket exploded near a Palestinian village in the West
Bank, shattering windows.
The rocket, called the M-75 by Hamas, triggered
air raid sirens in the capital for the first time in decades. It was the first
time warning sirens were heard in Jerusalem since the First Gulf War in 1991,
but even then, Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein refrained from targeting the
In Ma’aleh Adumim, the siren shattered the Shabbat eve calm. In our
house, our family exchanged quizzical looks for a couple of seconds, until we
realized what the siren actually was. Not having a reinforced room in our home,
we considered running out to the other side of our building, which houses the
shelter. According to the IDF Home Front Command, residents in the Jerusalem
area have 90 seconds to reach safe shelter. So, in the end, we instead decided
to go into the utility room in the back of our house.
A few minutes after
the siren’s end, we emerged, and things seemed surprisingly normal. I left to
attend the Kabbalat Shabbat services that the egalitarian havura I belong to
holds in the city’s community center, unsure whether anyone would show up. A
full contingent arrived, and we spent the first few minutes exchanging our siren
stories and expressing hope that it wouldn’t repeat itself.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat held a municipal situation assessment on Saturday
night, with representatives of all security and rescue services in the
Schools will operate in Jerusalem normally on Sunday.
a rocket alert, the light rail will continue traveling to the nearest station,
where passengers will be allowed to get off the train and seek
The municipality’s hotline, 106, will be open for residents’
questions, as well as the IDF Home Front Command's hotline, 1027.
Saturday night, life had resumed as if there hadn’t been a rocket launched at
At the Rav Chen theater in Talpiot, the 7 p.m. screening of
the new James Bond movie Skyfall was packed with patrons, who may have been
temporarily shaken, but more stirred by the action film than by the threat of a
Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.