Israel conflict hits home for Rhode Islander now in Jerusalem - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

Israel conflict hits home for Rhode Islander now in Jerusalem

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By Abbey Niezgoda

The images of the strikes in Gaza and Israel are something most Americans only see on television or on front pages, but for Daniel Stieglitz, the conflict is his reality. Born and raised in Providence, he moved to Jerusalem 5 years ago.

Hours before the cease fire was announced, Stieglitz spoke with ABC6 via Skype about his experience. Most of the violence has been concentrated more than 50 miles away from him, in Gaza and in Tel Aviv, but even that can feel too close.

"On Friday night I heard the first siren in Jerusalem," Stieglitz said. "I was in the streets all by myself and had never heard one before so it hit pretty close to home."

As the sirens wail, Stieglitz and others file into bomb shelters. They are places they thought they would not have to go, because Jerusalem is so far away from Gaza, the source of the Palestinian rockets. They were wrong.

"After that first siren, I found myself waking up in the middle of the night," Stieglitz said. "If I heard a car revving its engine or people talking on the phone, I would wake up and think its another siren."

Sleepless nights and countless calls to his family back in Rhode Island, especially after a bus in Tel Aviv was bombed Friday afternoon.

"As I was leaving work I got a text from my mom saying don't take busses. I'll pay for your cabs."

Stieglitz says regardless, he will not be packing up his bags and heading back home to Rhode Island anytime soon.

"I love it here. I love the people. I love the culture," Stieglitz said. "I think we have a right to a land for ourselves and hopefully we can all live in peace and security very soon."

Two hours after he said that, his wish came true. A cease fire took effect at 9 o'clock the same night.

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