Reporters on the Job

Siren Breaks: Correspondent Josh Mitnick reported from the northern Israeli city of Haifa today. Thankfully, he says, it was the quietest day since the conflict between Israel and Hizbullah began last week.

The streets of Haifa were relatively deserted and most shops were shuttered Tuesday. "It felt like a Saturday – the Sabbath," he says.

During the day, there were only about 10 rocket attacks. Warning sirens went off twice while he was reporting. "The first time, I was in a grocery store and I was surprised by the relatively calm reaction of the customers. Apparently, the attacks have almost become routine; people just stood there and waited," says Josh.

"The second time, I was in the street on the phone doing an interview. The siren sounded, and the man I was speaking to suddenly hung up. A guy standing nearby told me to get inside the stairwell of an apartment building.

"For a minute or two, everyone got quiet and listened for the explosion. There's no all-clear signal."

Fortunately, he says, both times were false alarms.

He drove south to a friend's house where he would spend the night, and to write his story. "We're still in range of Katyusha rockets. This is the Galilee region, where Israelis often vacation. It's full of cabins and camps," he says.

But even there Josh's writing was interrupted. "I just took a 'siren break,' " he joked, "and sat in another stairwell."

David Clark Scott
World editor

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