Emerging from debris, elderly Israeli looks ahead

When Israel’s hostilities with Gaza broke out, Uri Kimhi gave up on watching television from his favorite couch, instead keeping within hobbling distance of the bomb shelter in his home.

That saved the 88-year-old Israeli widower when a Palestinian rocket struck on May 12, reducing his living room to rubble.

The retired farmer is a veteran of three Israeli-Arab wars and a long-time resident of Ashkelon, which is 26 miles from Gaza and has seen its fair share of explosions.

"From what I felt, the explosion was very strong - when I was in the bomb shelter, I felt it. There was pressure on the door, and flames got in from somewhere, and that's it. I wasn't nervous, if you want to know, because I have heard a lot of explosions in my life."

Friday's Egyptian-mediated ceasefire ended what the Israeli military said was one of the heaviest barrages Israel has ever faced.

Israel says 13 people were killed in the conflict, the fourth between Israel and Hamas since the group took control of Gaza in 2007.

Palestinians put their death toll at 243.

Though unimpressed with the halt to the fighting, Kimhi was upbeat about the future for himself and his family.

"I don't believe in the ceasefire but I will go back to Ashkelton. I will go back there because it draws me. I am not afraid of the war, these shelling have been going on for years and practically nothing has changed."