Kiwi in Jerusalem: A moment of panic

JESSICA RAPANA
Last updated 13:19 09/07/2014
Kate Shuttleworth
SUPPLIED

CONFLICT ZONE: Kiwi foreign correspondent Kate Shuttleworth interviews a Palestinian youth at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Ramallah in the West Bank.

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As sirens sounded in Jerusalem, Kiwi journalist Kate Shuttleworth scurried to a bomb shelter.

Shuttleworth, who is from Christchurch but is based in Jerusalem, was forced to take shelter as the conflict between Israel and Gaza escalates.

The "code red" sirens sounded at about 7am (NZ time), after five rockets were fired at Jerusalem.

''I had a moment of panic, but my rationality took over when I realised a rocket wasn't going to hit me,'' Shuttleworth said.

One rocket landed near Bethlehem, only 20 minutes from where she is based.

The foreign correspondent was writing in her office when the sirens sounded, while her partner Blair Cunningham was upstairs.

''I yelled at Blair, who was about to do a live cross to Radio New Zealand's Morning Report, to get downstairs. We stood in the interior shelter for about two minutes," she said.

Shuttleworth expected the situation to escalate.

''I wouldn't be surprised if the ground invasion comes in Gaza in the next few days,'' she said.

The situation for journalists in Israel was dangerous. Three journalists had been shot in the face with rubber bullets during riots in Shuafat recently, Shuttleworth said.

''It is really hard to do your job here because you are encountering animosity from all sides.

''It's risky, you know, people make assumptions about who you are,'' she said.

Shuttleworth has been freelancing from Israel for about a year.

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