MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man in Israel with his family is sharing their experience as the war between Israel and Hamas leaves millions across the Middle East living with uncertainty.
“Every day, you’re conscious about trying to help those who are less fortunate and making sure you’re close to a bomb shelter,” said Andy Groveman.
Groveman and his family first arrived in Israel on September 28.
“We were in Israel just enjoying the Jewish holiday when on the last day of the holiday, sirens began to go off, and that’s when the terrible terrorist infiltration into Israel by Hamas took place,” he said.
The attack happened on October 7 when Israeli officials say Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 people, injured 3,500 others and took almost 200 hostages.
“That day, we were more fortunate than others because we only had to go to our safe room five times,” Groveman said. “You know Israel is a small country. Everybody knows somebody here that has either died, been injured, or taken hostage.”
Groveman is staying in Jerusalem.
“The day to day here, for us living in Jerusalem, staying close by the apartment, I might go out and buy some groceries at a small, little grocery store that’s maybe a five to seven minute walk,” he said.
Despite the time of terror and uncertainty for many, Groveman says he and his family aren’t afraid.
“We’re not scared. We have a sense of security because we know that the Israel Defense Force is going to protect the homeland,” he said.
President Joe Biden visited Israel Wednesday, vowing to help the country and securing the release of hostages held by Hamas. He also called for aid, food, medicine, and water be delivered through Egypt for the people living in the south of Gaza.
Groveman says his family is now evaluating each day when they will return to the United States, and he’s pleased with the country’s response and support to the war.
He’s also urging people to pray and contact local lawmakers for their continued support of Israel.