Birmingham man shares Israeli concerns - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Birmingham man shares Israeli concerns

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A conflict raising concerns around the world has ties to Alabama. For six days, rockets have criss-crossed the skies over Israel and Gaza. More than 100 people have been killed in Gaza and three in Israel. Israel says it's open to a cease fire but is preparing for a possible ground offensive against Hamas.

Birmingham resident, Michael Duvdevani's parents, live two miles from the Gaza border in Israel. He says for the last 12 years, Hamas has fired rockets at his homeland. "When a rocket is shot from Gaza into Israel, we have about 10 to 15 seconds until that shell lands."

A reason the Israeli government has built concrete domes over schools, created a missile warning system and helped citizens build safe rooms. "These kids have grown up in these bomb shelters. They don't know what it's like to sleep in their bedroom. They all sleep on mattresses in the bomb shelter because if the siren goes off at night, honestly 10 seconds isn't enough time to jump out of bed."

Duvdevani talks with his parents and brother Daniel, an Israeli reservist, several times a day. He says many families have chosen to stay where they are to support Israel. "You always take the risk of a rocket landing and hurting on your loved ones, but at the same time, this is their home, their homeland and they're not going anywhere."

Duvdevani, now a U.S. citizen, has chosen to stay in the U.S. because he met his wife here but he hopes the situation in Israel will finally end in peace for his family and others in the region. "Everybody is behind the army, everybody is behind the government and they just want the military to do what they need to do to end this."

Israel has expanded its bombing campaign, attacking homes of Hamas activists over the weekend. Monday it launched a missile strike on a media center in Gaza city.

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