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Pittsburgh woman now living in Israel gives first-hand account of missile attacks

PITTSBURGH — Channel 11 continues to follow the late-breaking developments coming out of the Middle East. Folks from Pittsburgh who live or work in Israel are right in the middle of the chaos of war and their loved ones back at home are sick about their safety and wellbeing.

Alexandria Bolen lives near Tel Aviv, but she’s originally from Pittsburgh. She says when the missiles were launched, she knew it was different. Bolden says the sound was creeping closer and closer.

“We’re all huddled in the hallway, people from all over the world in this hostel,” Bolen said. “In a tiny hallway, knee to knee, messaging our families not sure if this is going to be the last time we talk to our families.”

Bolen says the trauma of the last 48 hours is blurring the days.

“It was only two blocks from my home where an entire building was decimated,” Bolen said. “That’s never happened before. Then we start hearing about the festival and friends that are at the festival and people who are missing.”

Bolen escaped from Tel Aviv on Monday and she’s now in Ethiopia. She says she’s grateful to have gotten out, but she’s uncertain about what comes next.

“I’m very emotional and already showing signs of PTSD,” Bolen added.

This comes at a time when Pittsburgh is still healing from hate. This summer Robert Bowers was sentenced to death for murdering 11 people inside the Tree of Life Synagogue in Squirrel Hill in an antisemitic attack.

We reached out to Pittsburgh Police to see if the war in Israel is affecting patrols here in Pittsburgh. A spokesperson said:

“Police have dedicated additional patrols outside/around synagogues. They are also working with our Intel Unit to monitor any possible threats related to the recent events in the Middle East.”

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