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Italian doctor tells of life under rockets from Gaza, between bunker rooms and shelters in playgrounds


From the room with the steel plate windows and the gas filtering system in the doors to the missile shelters in the playgrounds. Roberto della Rocca, a veterinary doctor from Tel Aviv, tells Adnkronos ” life is not simple, but we are quite used to ” in Israel. And he does it from his ” armored room, which is also my office, with windows equipped with retractable steel plates ” and a door ” with rubber around it, a gas filtering system ”. A safe place, except when the alarm sounds you’re in the car, like the other day, when I stopped and ran into a house to take shelter in the stairwell. That’s how you do it when you don’t have a refuge. ” ” We live in a skyscraper and three hundred meters from us they gutted a house and killed a person, a disabled person who was unable to save himself ”, he says, explaining that ” in Tel Aviv these days the alarm has sounded two times a day. Not like in the south, where it is a continuum. And where they have fifteen seconds to hide, if the alarm is given in time. ” In the south, in a city kibbutz in Sderot to be precise, his son lives, ” by choice ”. ” I’m more worried about him than my daughter, who is a reservist. Even if the room where my son sleeps is the armored one, so he feels safe ”, says Della Rocca, explaining that his son is ” an elementary teacher ” and is part of ” a leftist movement that tries to build a better future”. And for which he abandoned his military career. In the south of Israel ” the bombings have continued for twenty years. If all goes well, two or three months remain without bombs ”, continues Della Rocca, explaining that ” with the money of the state armored boxes were built ” and remembers that ” by law all houses built after the 1990s must have an armored room ”. Then there are the children. To Sderot, ” which in this latest crisis was hit by 500-600 rockets ”, Della Rocca explains that ” in the playgrounds there are statues in the shape of an elephant or snake that are actually shelters, built in reinforced concrete, where children can enter in a few seconds ” in the event of an alarm. When those of Della Rocca, children, were small, the defense systems were different. ” In the 1990s, we feared gas attacks and had two babies. There was an outside room where we went in case of an attack. We wore gas masks and for the children we had a baby gas tent. Then we would take rags soaked in water and put them under the door, ” he says. Even earlier, Della Rocca lived the experience of rockets launched from Lebanon. “I arrived in Israel on February 12, 1979 at the age of 22 and went to a border kibbutz on the border with Lebanon,” he explains. Here ” already in the 1980s the PLO sent us rockets from southern Lebanon. And today the PLO is the moderate faction that acts as peacemaker. Things change, rockets change too. At that time we didn’t even have alarms, we went down to underground shelters ”, he concludes.



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