Local Israeli woman's cousin killed in rocket attack

Rachel Barnes' cousin among 3 killed by rocket

SAN DIEGO - A local Israeli woman who lost a family member during a rocket attack that killed three people spoke with 10News on Saturday.

San Diegan Rachel Barnes has been keeping a close eye on the Middle East, specifically the fighting there as hundreds of rockets are launched back and forth between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.

"I mean, you can imagine rockets coming from the border here to Camp Pendleton about the same distance – about 47 miles – every day," she said.

On Thursday, Barnes' worst nightmare came true when a rocket from Gaza hit an apartment building in the town of Kirat Milachi, which is Hebrew for Los Angeles.

The rocket killed three people, including her 24-year-old cousin Itzik.

"They have sometimes just 15 seconds or less to go to the shelters," she said. "He did not have enough time and that's when the rocket hit him. He finished serving in the IDF Army and he was about to get married soon… and this is just a great loss for everyone."

Israel claims to be inflicting heavy damage on Hamas, but so far that has failed to slow the rocket fire coming from the Palestinian territory.

"Half of Israel right now [is] living in shelters," Barnes said. "I know the schools are underground now. Everything is happening in the shelters now."

In the meantime, Israeli rocket attacks have killed at least 40 Palestinians. As the wounded arrived at Gaza's biggest hospital, its intensive care unit is filled with what doctors say are simply civilians.

As the Israeli government works to protect its people, as many as 75,000 reservists have been called up, all ahead of a possible ground operation.

"We have more than 1 million people under fire now," said Israeli army spokesman Aryeh Shalicar. "This is the place we have to protect."

Israel has been successful in shooting down rockets headed for Tel Aviv.

On Sunday, a coalition of more than 40 San Diego organizations and synagogues held an Israel solidarity rally in the UTC area. The rally was held at the Nobel Athletic Field and Recreation Center on Judicial Drive from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

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