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Homenews"We heard 9 sirens in 3 hrs" — SG family recounts terror...

"We heard 9 sirens in 3 hrs" — SG family recounts terror of Hamas attacks on Israel – Singapore News

Family took shelter in air-raid trench at home

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SINGAPORE: A Singaporean family residing in Israel has shared their harrowing experience living through the recent terror attacks launched by the Palestinian militant organization Hamas. Mr Lin, who has lived in Israel for a decade, narrated the events to Lianhe Zaobao, shedding light on the anxiety and fear that gripped their household during the attacks.

The attacks occurred unexpectedly on a public holiday while Mr Lin and his wife were at home with their five-month-old son. At around 8 o’clock in the morning, air raid sirens blared, catching the family off guard. Initially, Mr Lin’s wife thought it might be a drill, but he sensed the gravity of the situation and swiftly led his family to an air-raid trench within their home.

For Mr Lin, this was the first time he had heard such an air raid siren, which left him astonished. “We stayed in the air-raid trench for about 10 to 15 minutes,” he recalled. “Later, we heard the sound of the Iron Dome system, and we realized that Israel had intercepted the rockets flying from Gaza, which meant that the situation had returned to safety, so we came out of the air-raid trench.”

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The initial alarm was followed by several more, totalling nine air raid siren alerts within three hours. The couple later confirmed online that Hamas had launched an attack on Israel from the Gaza Strip. Thankfully, Jerusalem remained unscathed, with no power or water outages, and they could maintain internet connectivity. The family even managed to reassure their relatives in Singapore of their safety via a video call.

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Mr Lin’s wife expressed gratitude for having an air-raid trench in their house, unlike some older residences where neighbours must share one. The couple typically uses the trench as a bedroom, but in light of recent events, they stocked it with dry food, snacks, and drinking water for emergencies.

While Israel conducts annual drills, the attacks left local residents alarmed. Mr Lin’s wife commented on the sombre atmosphere but also noted the people’s determination that things would improve. “The atmosphere in Israel is very sad, but people are very confident that the situation will get better.”

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Their infant son, shielded from the loud noises in the trench, remained unfazed and didn’t cry. However, their American friends, whose children are around nine and 13 years old, expressed concern about potential psychological trauma in the aftermath of the attacks.

The couple also expressed deep sorrow and anger at the loss of innocent lives, especially women and children. Mr Lin conveyed his sadness, remarking, “I am very sad because these incidents happened here, which is really unbelievable. Israel has always called Saturday the ‘Sabbath,’ and the day when the incident occurred is now called the ‘Dark Sabbath.’”

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Despite the turmoil, Mr Lin has been in touch with the Singapore embassy. While some newcomers to the country are anxious, no one in their circle wants to leave Israel. “We don’t feel scared or immediately think of running away, but we feel sad for the Israelis, so we choose to stay if we can, and we help each other,” he said.

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The family told the Chinese daily that they have decided to stay at home for the time being and are fortunate to have enough food for two weeks. Mr Lin’s wife also procured drinking water online, saying there’s no sign of panic buying or hoarding supplies.

The conflict continues, with Hamas launching rocket attacks on Israel and Israel responding in kind. In light of these ongoing developments, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Singapore has urged Singaporeans in Israel and Palestine to remain vigilant, stay informed about local developments, and avoid areas with public disturbances or large crowds.

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