Local Jewish leader recounts chaotic scene in Israel - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Local Jewish leader recounts chaotic scene in Israel

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Las Vegas Jewish Federation President and CEO Elliot Karp discusses his recent experiences in Israel on Wednesday, July 16. (FOX5) Las Vegas Jewish Federation President and CEO Elliot Karp discusses his recent experiences in Israel on Wednesday, July 16. (FOX5)
LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

The most pressing conflict in the Middle East is very much on the minds of many in the Las Vegas Valley.

Elliot Karp, president and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Jewish Federation, just returned from a five-day trip to Israel.

"If you're at school, you seek shelter," Karp said as his cell phone rang out loudly. "That's interesting that should go off as I'm sitting here talking to you because that's an app that everybody in Israel carried on their cell phones. [It indicated] there is now a rocket attack taking place at Kiryat Malakhi, which is just south of Tel Aviv."

"It's one of the first things I downloaded when I got there," Karp continued. "Depending on where you are, you know you take cover in that area. If not, you just pay attention to it."

Karp said that in the last month, Israel has been besieged by more than 1,500 rockets launched by Hamas.

"These are indiscriminate. These are attacks that are against civilian populations," Karp said.

Karp said that when people in Israel hear an air raid siren, they don't have long to find shelter. He went through that experience at an Israeli hotel.

"I had just stepped out of the shower and literally grabbed a pair of shorts, threw them on, went down the hall to the shelter, and there was a woman wrapped in a towel with shampoo still in her hair. I mean, that's it. You have 60 seconds to find shelter," he said.

After news of Israel's cease-fire broke, Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system continued to intercept rockets headed toward the country.

"We're not talking about an army that plays by the modern rules of warfare. These are terrorists. They fire from apartment buildings, from hospitals, from schools," Karp said.

Thousands of people have evacuated from Gaza, and the death toll among Palestinians is at more than 200.

Karp said that during his trip he had a chance to inspect the unexploded payload from a Hamas rocket. He said it contained screws and ball bearings designed to inflict maximum damage.

The Las Vegas Jewish Federation is raising money for people in Israel who are infirmed. Information is available at www.jewishlasvegas.com.

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