Nashvillians closely follow fighting in Israel, Gaza - WSMV News 4

Nashvillians closely follow fighting in Israel, Gaza

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It's hard to imagine daily life interrupted by sirens and explosions.

That's what's happening in Israel and Gaza as the two nations exchange rocket attacks.

The ban on American flights to Israel ended on Thursday after two days, so the effects are being felt here at home.

People in Nashville are following the story closely.

At the Jewish Community Center, posters of solidarity were distributed for a country and its people, where the threat of rocket attacks have become part of the daily routine.

Jennifer Kahn just returned from a trip to Israel. She and others from Nashville spent more than a week in the country.

"I was happy I got out when we did," Kahn said. "We were the list flight on United before the ban. I think it was unnecessary."

This wasn't Kahn's first trip to the country.

She said, just like other visits, she was not worried about take off and felt safe while traveling the country.

"I felt like I was in a country dealing with a crisis," Kahn said. "But the people of Israel are going on with their everyday lives the best they can. Everyone I spoke with has either been called up for reserves or is in Gaza right now."

Hours after Kahn left a country scared by constant fighting, she joined in song with dozens at the Jewish Community Center in Nashville.

They gathered to stand with Israel.

"People want to join together to express their love and devotion to the state of Israel," said Mark Freedman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Nashville. "It's the only democracy in the Middle East. It's surrounded by 26 nations that would prefer it to disappear."

Today Israeli troops battled Hamas militants on the Gaza Strip.

As the fighting in the Middle East continues, U.S. diplomats are at work trying to bring peace.

So far at least 680 Palestinians and 34 Israelis have died.

"There's not anyone in Israel who is not agonized over what's going on both inside of Israel, in Gaza. No one wanted to see this happen," said Fred Zimmerman, who recently returned from Israel. "By the same token, there is no choice. These attacks on Israel cannot be allowed to continue."

Zimmerman returned from Israel last week.

He said when he flew in, the fighting was actually worse than it was Wednesday night.

He said, sadly, fighting in the south of Israel is nothing new, it's now just worse.

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