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High school students in Ramla
High school students in Ramla
Diana Bahur Nir

TEL AVIV — With Israeli students returning to school this week, Calcalist decided to ask a few how they spent what turned out to be an unusual summer holiday, given the fighting between Israel and Hamas in Gaza.

Seven weeks of Israeli airstrikes in Gaza and Hamas rocket attacks aimed at targets in Israel have left more than 2,100 people dead, most of them Palestinian civilians. A current open-ended ceasefire agreed upon Aug. 26 so far appears to be holding.

Here is how seven kids from around Israel remember their summer:

Musa Rantisi, 7, Jaffa
"I went to the beach, to the swimming pool and to the park. I most enjoyed the birthday of my brother. When the situation started to degenerate, my parents took me to Sharm el- Sheikh for 10 days."

Itay Shelsinger, 8, Herzliya
"During the war, I wrote in my diary when there were alarms and when there were ceasefires. Once, an alarm caught me on the toilet. Because of the war, they cancelled the swimming pool in the summer camp. I also got a new dog."

Segev Galili , 9, Ness-Ziona
"The first weeks of the holiday were a bummer because I was not allowed to go out to the garden. The first alarm sounded when I was out there by myself. During the ceasefires, I went with my dad to play basketball in the neighborhood, which was completely empty and silent."

Hagar Katora Rotberd, 10, Tel Aviv
"I had a pajama party with friends. and the alarm sounded in the middle. I really wanted to go to the scout's summer camp, and was sad when they cancelled it. Instead I went to stay at my grandparents' house. I downloaded the Red Alert app on my grandfather's phone. At the beginning, he was stressed from the sound and got angry, so I changed the alarm to a kind of ticktock, and he liked it."

Yarden Gabriel , 11, Yavne
"I was supposed to go to the swimming pool and to an amusement park, but I spent most of the time at home. I went only to places with a shelter or the friends living not far from my house. For the birthday of one of my friends, we went bowling. In the middle, there was an alarm and everybody was scared and some of us cried. I cried too because I thought of my family. I didn't know if they got to a shelter in time. My grandmother who lives in the south came to live with us because she doesn't have a shelter. It was fun."

Dvir Bernstein, 12, Ashdod
"Summer camp was cancelled, so we organized activities at home or at my friends' homes. We slept in the shelter of the building. Because of the war, all the family got closer. We used to live in Hebron. We moved here because it was supposed to be calmer, apparently not that much."

Yuval Antman, 13, Yad Mordechai
"All the summer activities on our kibbutz were cancelled from the second day of the operation. We went to Crete for one week, and when we came back I told my parents that I didn't want to leave the kibbutz again, so we stayed. But when we came back, the bombings continued. Three or four red alert alarms a day is pretty usual here, and you hear booms all day long."

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Geopolitics

Mykolaiv Postcard: Life On Ukraine's Creeping Southern Front Line

The fate of Mykolaiv and surrounding areas of southern Ukraine are crucial in the next stage of the war. A reporter visits local villages ... and the troops on the front line.

Aftermath of shelling in Mykolaiv, Ukraine

Kateryna Petrenko

MYKOLAIV — This large port city in eastern Ukraine carries great strategic importance for the war. After the Russian army managed to destroy Mariupol and occupy most of the Kherson region, which has access to the annexed Crimea, it leaves Mykolaiv, along with Odessa, as the largest port cities with access to the Black Sea.

If these cities fall, Ukraine will not only lose control over the eastern territories, but also access to the Black Sea, which will completely halt exports and imports by sea.

Stay up-to-date with the latest on the Russia-Ukraine war, with our exclusive international coverage.

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Needless to say, the fate of Mykolaiv is highly important. And with hundreds of thousands of people still living in the city and surrounding region, a reporter from the Ukrainian media Livy Bereg visited one of the villages on Mykolaiv's outskirts to see for herself how Ukrainians live in close proximity to the Russian army.

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