Monday, December 22, 2014

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Albany native living in Jerusalem talks about his experience on the ground

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Albany/HV: Albany native living in Jerusalem talks about his experience on the ground
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Israel and Hamas have agreed to stop attacks on each other after a week of violence. An Albany native now living in Jerusalem with his family talked to YNN's Madeleine Rivera about their experience on the ground.

ALBANY, N.Y. -- It's been more than a week of unrest in Israel and Palestine. But for Rabbi Yaakov Kellman, the attacks strike closer to home. He's got two children who live in Israel.

"I am so proud of my two children, my daughter-in-law, for being there, for staying there," said Kellman.

Ayal Kellman was born and raised in Albany. He moved to Israel in 2003 for college and stayed there to raise a family. Now, he and his family are dealing with the tense situation in the area.

"We have a six-month-old daughter and she doesn't really know the difference of what's going on. But it's still really scary for us. It's the first time we've experienced such imminent threat," said Kellman through a Skype interview from Israel.

The Israeli government and Hamas agreed to a ceasefire. But bombs continued to fly in Gaza and Israel before the truce. Kellman and his family are cautious about how long this peace will last.

"I am hopeful that the ceasefire will hold and take effect. But at the same time, ceasefires traditionally put to good use by Hamas in order to re-arm," said Kellman.

Diplomats working on a cease-fire hope to avoid a repeat of 2008 and 2009, when at least 1,400 people died when Israeli troops invaded Gaza after a similar spate of rocket attacks. But for people on the ground...

"At least for us, life goes on. While life may be punctuated by a rocket here or there, you go to a shelter, you wait the appropriate ten minutes, then life goes on and you go back to your regular work and your regular life," said Kellman.

More than 150 people have died in this round of attacks since they started. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP