Triangle residents share experience of Iranian missile attacks as local leaders observe Passover

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Monday, April 15, 2024
Triangle residents share experience of Iranian missile attacks
ABC11 is hearing from Triangle residents living through the latest turn in the ongoing war in Israel.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- ABC11 is hearing from Triangle residents living through the latest turn in the ongoing war in the Middle East. On Sunday, ABC11 spoke with two local faith leaders who described the moment hundreds of unmanned Iranian missiles and drones were launched toward the country.

"You could hear booms, you could hear planes, you could hear explosions," said Sabina Sager, who's lived in Durham for more than 40 years.

She is in Israel visiting her daughter in the Golan Heights.

Sager's late husband, Steven, was Rabbi at Beth El Synagogue, and her daughter, son-in-law, and four grandchildren live in Israel. Sager says it was apparent when she landed that tensions remained high.

"Just as I arrived, I was hearing there might be some issues, some security issues," she said.

That culminated in the Iranian offensive that took place Saturday night, as those 300-plus unmanned missiles and drones were intercepted by Israeli forces and its allies. Sabina and her family spent that night in a bomb shelter across the street from her daughter's home.

"So we hunkered down and went to sleep, but everyone was a little nervous," she said. "Just, what was gonna happen, what were we gonna find when we came back up?"

ALSO SEE:Israel says 99% of drones and missiles launched by Iran were intercepted

Beth El Synagogue President Dan Schnitzer is in Israel, too -- his second trip since the Oct. 7 attacks.

"As the night progressed, and the text messages started, and the sun went down you could feel the level of tension rising," he said.

That tension comes as business and civic leaders in the Triangle gathered for a third annual Inter Community Seder ahead of the Passover holiday. In attendance Sunday were representatives from over 50 local organizations -- including law enforcement officials, several Wake County Commissioners, and School Board members -- and Raleigh Mayor Mary-Ann Baldwin.

"I'm really glad that we are all together because we need to build community," said Baldwin. "And my biggest fear right now is that communities are being targeted and torn apart."

The purpose of Sunday's event was to promote connection and conversation ahead of Passover. As fighting in the region enters its seventh month, it's precisely the type of dialogue faith leaders say is necessary.

"Whether you're Jewish, on the left or on the right, whether you're Christian, Muslim, Atheist, that shared humanity of just being with each other, just sitting with each other and supporting each other through difficult times is the only path forward," said Dan Schnitzer.