Green Bay native studying in Israel


Published 07/22 2014 10:40PM

Updated 07/24 2014 08:40AM

JERUSALEM, Israel (WFRV) - "Being in Jerusalem, we have a minute in a half, given that those people only have 15 seconds, it feels pretty lucky."  

It's been a terrifying few weeks for UW-Madison student Alexandra Zimmern.

"We've had three separate times that we've experienced the siren," the Green Bay native says, "and I'm over here at a school, on a campus, so we just run by the staircases where there are no windows. You wait maybe a minute and a half, and you'll hear some sort of explosions."

So far, most of those explosions are from successful rocket interceptions by the Iron Dome, Israel's missile defense system. Only a few rockets have made it through, hitting open areas, but some have come a little too close for comfort.

"So you can actually feel, really, you'll hear the boom, you'll hear the walls shake," she says. "Yeah, as an American, as any person, it's pretty terrifying."

Even so, she says the Israeli government is doing everything it can to keep her safe.

"When I went to buy that ticket, I'm reassured that I'm being watched over and that the government is doing everything that it can to protect its citizens and Americans in Israel and really everyone in Israel."

Alexandra says the last thing she expected was to be spending her summer in a war zone.

"I didn't anticipate that we would be in the middle of an operation in Gaza, that there would be hundreds, if not, thousands of missiles hitting Israel every single week," she says." "But of course, like with anything in the Middle East, you can't predict it. And so there's always a risk."

Alexandra says her parents have worked to bring her home as soon as possible. She's expected to leave Israel in mid-August.

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