WATCH: As rockets fell from the sky, Jehan Berman pulled his wife and son into his arms. “I covered them with my body, protecting them and hoping it would end.”
Jehan Berman immigrated to Israel from Belgium and now lives on Israel’s border with Gaza. Last week, during a birthday party for his 3-year-old son, a mortar landed just outside the kindergarten where they were celebrating. Unable to make it to the bomb shelter, Jehan shielded his wife and child with his body as the rocket fell and was wounded by shrapnel, which embedded itself into his back.
“I realized that I’d been struck and the first thing that I thought of was my son and wife,” Jehan said. “She stood up and I saw that there was no blood on her and that everything was okay. I remember my son and the look on his face the moment he heard the explosion, and I said ‘okay, nothing else matters.”
Constant terror attacks
Jehan immigrated to Israel during the Second Intifada, a period of intense Palestinian violence against Israeli civilians. In December of 2001, he survived a Hamas suicide bombing that killed 11 Israelis and injured over a hundred others. A few years later, he decided to move to Kibbutz Nir Oz, where he was faced with another side of Hamas’ terrorism – incessant rocket fire on Israeli civilians.
Today Jehan lives with his family in Avshalom, a community just a few kilometers from the Gaza border. “When my son was born, and the doctor handed him to my wife, a siren sounded in the hospital,” Jehan said. “He was born to the sound of sirens.”
Jehan and his family are only a small part of the tens of thousands of civilians who live under the constant threat of Gaza’s rockets. During Operation Protective Edge, Hamas terrorists fired over 4,000 rockets at Israel. The IDF (Zahal)’s mission is to protect all Israelis from these attacks.