DENVER (CBS4)– As Israel steps up its bombardment of Hamas sites in the Gaza Strip, some Coloradans are growing increasingly closer to the violence on both sides of the border.
Don Saliman grew up in Denver and attended East High School. He and his family live in Kibbutz, a collective farm community, in Israel that’s located along the border with Gaza.
Over Skype Saliman said they are very close to the incoming rocket fire from Gaza.
“We’ve heard the explosions and then we hear red alerts. We are very close to them,” said Saliman.
When they get the signal, they head into shelters.
Noam Saliman is his son. He lives in Morrison and says he is very concerned for his father’s safety.
“I’m worried about the situation over there. Knowing how it is and missiles go everywhere. One of these days something is going to happen,” said Noam. “I’m very worried.”
Air raid sirens are heard in the distance but so far there have been minimal injuries on the Israeli side of the border.
“Just because they don’t kill us doesn’t mean they’re not trying to. They are trying very hard,” said Saliman.
Across the border in Gaza there have been dozens of deaths and many more injuries from the Israeli bombardment.
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Sarah Woznick used to work at the University of Colorado Hospital. Now she is in Gaza, working for Doctors without Borders. She said the airstrikes have been close.
“You can definitely hear all the missiles going off. We can hear the shellings and the air raids,” said Woznick.
Across the border on the Israeli side, Saliman said he has not considered leaving despite the rocket fire.
“This is my life. This is my home and I refuse to leave. I feel if I leave that they win. This is personal,” said Saliman.
So far it’s been primarily an air attack from both sides but if Israel decides to go in on the ground the casualties are expected to mount and then it could be a ground attack on both sides.
Gaza has fired more than 140 rockets at the Israeli side. Most have been intercepted by Israel’s “Iron Dome” defense system.