POSTED: Monday, November 19, 2012 - 8:35pm
UPDATED: Monday, November 19, 2012 - 9:09pm
BATON ROUGE, La. (NBC33) — Images of the ongoing missile strikes and unrest in the Gaza strip and southern Israel keep Nir Barnea up at night, knowing his entire family is living in Israel while the relentless fighting continues.
"I think I spend like 15 hours a day watching news, and watching the websites and Israeli websites and stuff like this. I can't stop thinking about what's going on over there and it's pretty hard to focus on other stuff," explained Barnea, an LSU student.
He said for friends here in the states it's been hard to imagine what life for his family is like, living in the middle of a warzone.
"Imagine right now, we're standing over here and there's an alarm going on, and we have like 30 seconds to get in to a safe place. So you just sit there and count the booms and try to figure out how far it is from you. And it can be pretty close to you, so this is pretty scary," Barnea said.
He said if given the choice, he would join his family in Israel in a heartbeat.
"I would definitely choose to get back home to be with my family. I feel weird being here while all this stuff is happening and I can see what they're experiencing and I wish I could be over there with my family," he continued.
While his thoughts are thousands of miles away, for now his life is here. He says he can only hope that the fighting will end soon. But he says he doesn’t feel peace can be obtained while Israeli civilians continue to die from missile attacks, and feels the Israeli nation is justified in defending themselves from Palestinian fire.
"Everybody wants this to stop. They don't care if this operation will continue anymore. They just want to stop it," Barnea said.
Palestinian health officials claim over 100 have been killed, with several civilians in that number, since Israel began its offensive last week. Israel launched what they're calling an offensive strike due to continued 'militant' missile strikes.
NBC33 also reached out to the local Palestinian community, but did not receive any feedback yet.