BOSTON (WHDH) - A Northeastern University student who was in Tel Aviv over the weekend returned to Boston Tuesday after she was able to board a plane out of Israel after violence broke out in the country over the weekend.
Keren Doherty was in Israel as part of a nursing co-op program when she said she heard sirens Saturday morning. Doherty recently spoke to 7NEWS about her experience.
“I was sleeping in bed, woke up to the sound of the sirens,” she said.
“We were all kind of scared in the moment but ran downstairs to the bunker, to the bomb shelter,” Doherty continued.
Doherty was one of a handful of students from schools across the country who were taking part in the co-op program in Tel Aviv — one of Israel’s biggest cities.
“We were close,” Doherty said. “But not right on the border with Gaza.”
Doherty said she knew people who were closer to the border, including some people who were at a music festival where militants attacked.
“And I know people who live in some of those towns closer, so it’s a small country,” she said. “We were safe, but it was still close.”
Doherty was able to catch a flight to Portugal.
It wasn’t until she was out of the country, though, that the reality of the situation set in.
“It wasn’t fear,” Doherty said. “It was more just like, ‘This is what you have to do. And this is where you have to go and just get through,’ and then sort of taking a step back.”
“Days later is when the fear kind of hits of like, ‘Oh my god, that really happened,’” she continued.
As fighting continues, Doherty said she is grateful she was one of the lucky ones to escape the violence.
“I was worried that flights were filling up quickly, getting expensive,” she said. “I know people who are still there who are still scrambling to find fights.”
Grateful to be safe, Doherty now also fears for the future of a country she temporarily called home.
“It’s horrible,” Doherty said. “I don’t know how else really to put it.”
“I really am worried and afraid for my friends and loved ones still there,” Doherty continued.
Two Northeastern students, including Doherty, were in a study abroad program in Israel when the country came under attack this weekend. A third student was visiting family members in Jerusalem.
As of Tuesday, Doherty said she had not heard from a friend who was at the music festival that Hamas militants attacked and said she is hoping her friend is okay.
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