Life In The Violent Middle East - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Life In The Violent Middle East

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by Chris Conte

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - As violence continues to rage in the Middle East, those who are living in the middle of rocket attacks and warning sirens have seen their daily lives change dramatically.

"The sirens go off and we have about 60 to 90 seconds to run for shelter," explains Sigal Hertshten who lives in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv was once considered to be one of the safer cities in Israel but now that Hamas has begun firing longer ranged missiles at the country, even going out to a crowded public market can be difficult.

"Friday afternoon I was sitting at a café with a friend and a siren went off, we had just ordered something and all of sudden everyone ran into the kitchen area of the café. We waited there until the sirens stopped," the 28-year-old said via Skype on Monday afternoon.

The conflict between Hamas and Israel is now almost a week old. Experts believe Egypt may be the only ones who can broker peace in the region.

"The big problem is Hamas has to decide whether it wants to govern the Gaza strip and prevent attacks on Israel or whether it wants to continue to be the militant revolutionary party that it is," explains Prof. Thomas Schwartz who teaches political science at Vanderbilt University.

Prof. Schwartz does not believe either country will enter into a full fledged ground assault but he does think this conflict will more than likely test the United States commitment to Israel.

"They (the Israelis) don't need American soldiers but they do need the United States political backing"

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