Beneath the Iron Dome in Israel

Originally, loyal reporters André Uzulis (text) and Stephan Pramme (photography) wanted to research an entirely different story in Israel – namely life in the country’s army, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). It was to be about military training, about the relationship between women and men, about conscripts, about performing everyday duties, and about the food served at the canteen. When the pair arrived in Tel Aviv, however, the sirens were wailing and people were seeking refuge in shelters and between buildings: rockets had been fired from the Gaza Strip. There were three detonations in the air, and then the air-raid warning ended. Israel’s “Iron Dome” air defence system had destroyed the incoming missiles before they could inflict any damage.

Since the IDF was unable in this threat situation to offer any assistance with the originally planned research, Uzulis and Pramme took the impromptu decision to switch to a different topic that felt appropriate: “Israel under fire”. What they wanted to know was what it is like to live in a country that for many years has repeatedly faced the threat of terrorist rocket attacks. The two loyal reporters had the rare opportunity to talk to the head of the unit that operates the tens of thousands of sirens across the country. They spoke to people in Sderot, a city close to the Gaza Strip that is particularly at risk, as well as with residents of a kibbutz just 800 metres from Gaza City. And they were able to join an Israeli army patrol along the boundary of the closed-off zone that is home to two million Palestinians. Critics describe it as the world’s biggest prison. This fascinating report from a country under fire can be found in the October edition of loyal.