Leah Gilady is originally from Boulder, but is studying in Tel Aviv. Her father and younger brother came to visit earlier this week just in time for the fighting to begin.
"Life is really frozen," Gilady said by phone from Tel Aviv. "Schools are closed and people are scared to go out. It's definitely scary to have to call my mom and tell her we were in the bomb shelter. It's a terrifying experience. Something I don't wish on anyone."
Middle East experts say this conflict, which has gone on for generations, won't end any time soon without diplomatic involvement. Specifically, according to University of Denver Center for Middle East Studies Professor Nader Hashemi, involvement from the United States and the creation of a Palestinian state.
"About four years ago we were witnessing an almost identical scenario in the Gaza Strip," he said. "The fundamental roots of the conflict are that there are two people fighting over the same piece of land. One of the parties in conflict, the Palestinians are living as refugees. They're living under occupation."
Hashemi doubts the US will get involved to the point he thinks is required to bring a permanent solution to the fighting. Until then, more temporary ceasefires.
"We're going to be having this conversation again a year from now, two years from now unless we deal with the fundamental roots of the conflict," he said.
For those caught in the middle, it's more than just a conflict heard about in headlines.
"It's a reality, it's real, it's scary," Gilady said. "I'm about 30 minutes away from Gaza. I only have about 45 seconds to get to the bomb shelter when the sirens go off."
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)