A SOUTH Derbyshire teacher gained a terrifying personal insight into the long-running conflict between Israel and Palestine when she visited the area for a conference.
History specialist Clare Owen was twice herded to safety after air raid sirens went off during her stay in the Yad Vashem area of Israel, just moments before rockets landed near to where she had been.
On the first occasion, the William Allitt School educator took shelter in a stairwell after the siren went off when she and her colleagues were enjoying dinner in the city.
She told the Mail: "Young Israelis were screaming, crying and running for cover – it was most unnerving.
"We were all crowded in and could hear the rockets going over and the explosions in the distance, and you could hear people crying.
"I was absolutely terrified."
Miss Owen was taking part in the Through Our Own Lens conference on Holocaust Education, in which she has a particular interest.
It was after the last lecture on the day before she left that she had her second experience of the bombs.
This time it was a much more professional operation, she said. Everyone was escorted to a safe place and organisers began to entertain people with traditional Jewish music and dancing.
Miss Owen said: "It was still terrifying, but it was the most surreal experience. It made me think of the Blitz spirit during the Second World War."