Two Cincinnati women in Israel as violence erupts

Rachel and Nina Schneider.
Rachel and Nina Schneider.

(FOX19) - The violence that has erupted in the Gaza Strip is hitting close to home in Cincinnati.
Over the last few days, some of the Cincinnatians living in Israel are living amid all of the back-and-forth of rocket fire.  They've heard the warning sirens, and heard the explosions.
To say the least, it's been terrifying for Rachel and Nina Schneider. 

Between them, they've lived in Israel for about nine years, after an upbringing including trips and experiences in Israel, ultimately leading them to a decision to move there.  

On Tuesday, they experienced a first in their nine years and spoke to FOX19 over video conference.
"This was my first time I heard a siren.  To be honest, it really is pretty terrifying.  The only time I've heard sirens like that are in Cincinnati when it's tornado season," said Nina Schneider.
The sisters are in Jerusalem, some distance from the constant bombings. But, that's not to say it hasn't hit close to home.
"People are still pretty calm because unlike other cities that are actually closer to Gaza Strip, we've only had one siren go off.  We're pretty lucky. It only happened to be 4 or 5 rockets that ended up being shot at us yesterday when other cities, they've really been bombarded," said Nina.
That bombardment has led to a statement, released today, by the Jewish Community Relations Council, saying in part, "we unequivocally condemn the barrage of rockets Hamas has fired with the sole intention of maiming or killing Israeli civilians. While we support diplomatic efforts to calm the crisis, we fully support Israel's right to defend its population from Hamas' wanton violence. We hope that the Israeli government, the Palestinian Authority and other regional parties will work together to convince Hamas to cease its attacks so that quiet can return to Israel, Gaza and the surrounding area."
That barrage of rockets has these women preparing for the worst.
"I know that I have my gas mask.  I know that I have shelter at the bottom of my apartment.  But, this is something that you kind of prepare for, and you learn about a little bit, but now it's been real.  It is frightening," said Rachel Schneider.
To hear those sirens, knowing an attack could be coming, it never gets easier.  But, it's something these two have prepared for and have come to accept.
"You have to balance your life with what's going on in your life, and what's going on in terms of your surroundings," Rachel told FOX19.

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