'Never-ending cycle': Raleigh natives react to ongoing tensions between Israel, Palestinians

There's no avoiding the siren or the horrific images that look like they're out of a movie.

"Last night at 7 p.m., there were 100 rockets fired in our area and then there was another firing at 3 a.m.," said Daniel Rosenberg, a Raleigh native and Millbrook High School graduate, who's on the run immediately every time he hears that siren from his home near Tel Aviv.

Rosenberg has a 15-month-old daughter and his wife is 8 months pregnant.

"It's hard to fall asleep right now," he said. "I wanted to fall asleep in my tennis shoes because I wanted to make sure when I hear the sirens that I'm able to grab my daughter and run down to the bomb shelter which is four flights of stairs."

For weeks now, Palestinian protesters and Israeli police have clashed on a daily basis in and around Jerusalem's Old City, home to major religious sites sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims and the emotional epicenter of the Middle East conflict.

Most recently, rockets streamed out of Gaza and Israel pounded the territory with airstrikes Wednesday, with dozens killed and no resolution in sight.

The death toll in Gaza rose to 43 Palestinians, including 13 children and three women, according to the Health Ministry. Israeli airstrikes have leveled two multistory apartment towers in the Gaza Strip, where 2 million Palestinians have lived.

It's the worst flare-up in seven years.

"It's this never-ending cycle. Even the question of saying Israel versus Palestine," Feras Abdel, who is born and raised in Raleigh.

His parents came through from Ramallah in the West Bank.

Gaza might be far away but Abdel worries the violence could lead to another all-out Arab-Israeli war.

"It's our people," he said. "Aside from being connected to versus nationality or proximity of home, it's just humans: we feel the same thing when we see things happening around the world. You have Palestinians next door to you. We're screaming, we're not able to celebrate our holiest month of Ramadan which ends today."

Congressman David Price condemned the rocket fire against Israel but said Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza also have the right to a just, safe and secure future.
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