ISRAEL: Bomb Shelter ‘Selfies’

Leave it to the Israelis to make the best of a bad situation. A new trend of ‘bomb shelter selfies’ takes off as under-siege Tel Aviv residents vow to ‘keep on smiling.’

UK Daily Mail  (h/t MZ) When the air-raid sirens ring out across Israel, hundreds of thousands of people scramble to the safety of shelters. (You can see by their come-as-you-are attire, or lack thereof, that there was no time to change into more ‘appropriate’ bomb shelter fashion)

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Taking cover in safe rooms, bomb shelters, and stairwells can be a terrifying experience for many Israeli citizens, but dozens of teenagers and adults have posted smiling selfies on Facebook to document their experiences.  Sara Eisen, a resident of Beit Shemesh in central Israel, set up one of the group’s called ‘Bomb Shelter Selfies.’

In one snap a young woman is shown standing next to an elderly man in his towel with the caption ‘Meet other neighbours in the shelter.’

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Another image shows a group of teenage girls smiling, waving and sticking their tongues out for the camera.

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A family pose for another jovial photo next to the wording ‘Lovin this ceasefire.’

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One image shows a pair of teenagers who were forced to go to the air raid shelter in the middle of a pamper session – one of them is wearing a face-mask while the other is dressed in just a towel.

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Lots of the photos in the group show Israeli’s with their pets which they have taken into the shelter. 

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As well as posting photos users have shared tips on how to keep children entertained during the long hours in the shelters as well as Jewish people from across the the world posting messages of support. 

One user wrote: ‘Love how you are keeping safe and finding the wonderful positive attitude and smiling. The Jewish community in the Washington DC area had a rally to support Israel. Be well!!’

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But the group has been criticised by internet users who feel it makes a mockery of the rising Palestinian death toll.

One user wrote: ‘Guess who has no shelters or any safe spot to be in? Children of Gaza. The little charged phones are saved for emergencies rather than taking selfies… Because guess who controls electricity? Israel.’ Another wrote: ‘Meanwhile, Palestinian women and children don’t have the luxury of running to bomb shelters when Israeli bombs fall from the sky.this is not war.this is ethnic cleansing.’

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But Ms Eisen wrote on the group: ‘There are those who allege that the fact that we are smiling / not dead proves that Israelis are not suffering. I will not apologize for being alive, protecting my children.’ 

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The 16-day conflict has claimed the lives of 718 Palestinians, most of them civilians, Palestinian health officials say. 

Israel has lost 32 soldiers, all since July 17, when it widened its air campaign into a full-scale ground operation aimed at halting rocket fire from Gaza and destroying a sophisticated network of cross-border tunnels. 

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