South Floridian in Israel: 'It's really undescribable'

Rockets strike near major Israeli cities

Author: John Turchin, Crime Specialist, jturchin@local10.com
Published On: Nov 16 2012 06:16:52 PM EST   Updated On: Nov 16 2012 07:33:12 PM EST
Jonathan Berger
PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. -

An 18-year-old South Floridian talked about the what it was like in Tel Aviv, Israel, when rockets began striking the city earlier this week.

Jonathan Burger has vacationed in Israel dozens of times, but he said this trip was nothing like any others.

"It's really undescribable here. Obviously, thank God, nobody was hurt, but knowing that you're right next to where a missile landed, you could have been there," Burger told Local 10's John Turchin. "Scary."

READ: Rockets strike near major Israeli cities

Burger is among 300 youths spending their first year of college in Israel. He was in a room with 15 others when the rockets began striking. Rockets landed near Israel's two most populous cities Friday as fighting between Israel and Hamas militants persisted with no immediate end in sight.

"That one second felt like 10 minutes," said Burger. "You don't know how to react. You don't know what to do, where to go. Do you go find cover? It's just something I definitely wasn't prepared for at the time."

The group was immediately moved to Jerusalem, where they thought they would be safe. Burger admitted the fighting has presented an awkward dilemma.

"Me, personally, I feel guilty in a way, knowing I'm in Israel right now as an 18 year old and all other Israelis my age are fighting in their first war," said Burger. "If Gaza drops their weapons, this war will be over. If Israel drops their weapons, there will be no more Israel. And, that's the way I think it's beyond true. We have to defend our land. We're surrounded by enemies."

Burger plans on staying in Israel for the remainder of his 10 month study. After that, he intends on going to the University of Arizona to study business.