Smoke rises after an Israeli missile strike in Gaza City, Tuesday, July 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)
RALEIGH, N.C. -
Israeli Americans and Palestinian Americans in the Triangle are anxiously waiting to see what will happen as the violence escalates in Israel and Gaza.
Israel resumed its heavy bombardment of Gaza on Tuesday and warned that Hamas "would pay the price" after the Islamic militant group rejected an Egyptian truce plan and instead unleashed more rocket barrages at the Jewish state.
A particularly heavy barrage came around dusk, with more than 40 rockets hitting Israel in just a few minutes, including one that fell on an empty school. TV footage showed children cowering behind a wall in Tel Aviv's main square as sirens went off. An Israeli man in his 30s was killed near the Gaza border when he was delivering food to soldiers -- the first Israeli death.
After holding its fire for six hours, the Israeli air force resumed its heavy bombardment of Gaza, launching 33 strikes from midafternoon, the military said. In all, Israeli aircraft struck close to 1,700 times since July 8, while Gaza militants fired more than 1,200 rockets at Israel.
In Gaza, 197 people were killed and close to 1,500 wounded so far, Palestinian officials said, making it the deadliest Israel-Hamas confrontation in just over five years.
Feras Abdelquadar, who co-founded Palestine United of North Carolina, said the attacks are not justified.
"It's really the children that have to deal with it," Abdelquadar said. "The second or third day they bombed a building, the apartment building, and they said, 'Oh great, we found a militant, one of our target militants that we were going after and he’s now found dead,' they didn’t mention that over 20 people were killed in that."
Rabbi Pinchas Herman, co-director of Chabad Center of Raleigh, said when he traveled to Israel two years ago, rockets landed near him and his family.
"I'm in this van with my family and you're pretty sure … it's not going to go anywhere near you, but you have this thing in your mind -- this might be the last 30 seconds of your life," Herman recalled.
Both Pinchas and Abdelquadar hope that the violence with stop because it’s the civilians who are paying the price with their lives.