Berks woman leaves Israel after flight ban

Andi Franklin was at the airport when bomb when off.

Berks woman leaves Israel after flight ban

The conflict between Israel and Hamas is hitting close to home in Berks County.

One local woman found herself in the midst of the chaos and managed to catch a flight out just in time.

Bill Franklin and his wife Andi have a passion for the people of Israel.

Bill serves as the president of the Jewish Federation of Reading.

So when they saw the deadly battle occurring between Israel and Hamas, they felt they needed to lend a helping hand.

"It is important that we show our support and our caring for them in a time of need. So, when there is an outbreak of troubles, she gets on a plane and flies to Israel," said Franklin.

His wife traveled around the country to visit friends and relatives and touch base with certain Israel Defense Force units to provide them support.

But on Tuesday when she was scheduled to leave, the FAA suspended all flights to and from the region.

As she was trying to switch airlines, a siren went off in the airport, warning of a missile strike. When that happens, Bill tells us, people have mere seconds to get to a safe room and wait.

"If you are lucky, you hear two booms. The first boom is the missile entering the area and the second boom is the successful interception of the missile by the iron dome system," said Franklin.

Andi thankfully did hear two booms, was able to finish checking in and board an El Al flight to leave the country. She made it home safely to the U.S.

"I understand the U.S. taking the precaution certainly based on the Malaysia air incident, but at the same time, one has to be careful because when one does something like that it validates the tactics or the strategies of terrorists and at the end of the day you cannot let them win," said Franklin.

Bill says conflicts like this will not stop him and his wife from visiting Israel and they will continue supporting the country.

If you want to show your support for the people of Israel, they are having a public gathering next Wednesday July 30th at 7:30 p.m. at 1100 Berkshire Boulevard in Wyomissing.

"Basically it is to show solidarity, to show support, to show care for our brethren in Israel," said Franklin.

The Jewish Federation of Reading is also raising humanitarian aid for Israel through the 'Stop the Sirens' Campaign. If you would like to donate you can stop by their office.

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