Bay Area residents respond to Iranian airstrikes at Israel, praying for safety of loved ones abroad

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Sunday, April 14, 2024
Bay Area loved ones respond to Iranian air strikes at Israel
Iranian air strikes aimed at Israel Saturday left Bay Area loved ones bracing, as Tehran launched hundreds of retaliatory drones and missiles.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Iranian airstrikes aimed at Israel Saturday left Bay Area loved ones bracing as Tehran launched hundreds of retaliatory drones and missiles.

"Your first instinct when you hear reports of an incident are to immediately text your loved ones and turn on the news to see what's happening. And as of right now, that's what many of us are doing," said Jonathan Mintzer, director of External Relations at the Jewish Community Relations Council.

"Many of us who have connections to Israel and family in Israel, when you're watching the scenes on TV, how powerless you can feel when you see the dramatic images of missile interceptions, or various impacts, or hear news about the red alert sirens," added the Oakland resident, who spent hours messaging Saturday, trying to support his family and put his own mind at ease.

RELATED: US helps 'take down nearly all' drones, missiles in Iran retaliatory attack toward Israel, Biden confirms

U.S. officials confirmed Israel's announcement Saturday that Iran's retaliatory strike has begun.

"When the red alert sirens stop in Israel, that will be at least relief at least for now that life will go back to normal, when restrictions to large gatherings, or attending schools are lifted that is when that relief will set in," said Mintzer, noting he's also grappling with what comes next. "The concern, right as many have is that this escalates into a bigger war, which we're hoping, we're praying doesn't occur and it is my belief, my hope that neither Iran nor Israel want a full scale confrontation."

MORE: Bay Area experts weigh in on Iran retaliatory attack on Israel: 'They have been provoked'

Iran's retaliatory attack on Israel in response to bombing of its embassy in Sryia was a "restrained" response said one Bay Area college professor.

"We're very concerned over what could happen over there," said Hamid Rezapour, a Lafayette resident with extended family in Iran.

"We have heard that people leaving what are the highest likely targets. You know, always the capitol, and gas stations -- people are lining up to fill up their cars, so they can get out of the major cities," said Rezepour, adding people are preparing for what could come.

"We've heard from family members that your average person on the ground is running into gas stations and supermarkets hoarding food, trying to really stock up so to speak for a potential larger scale war," he said.

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