Local student's trip to Israel cut short due to violence

Updated: 07/24/2014 6:23 AM
Created: 07/23/2014 8:18 PM WHEC.com
By: Rachel Spotts

All American flights are still banned from landing in Tel Aviv, Israel. This after there was reports of violence and a rocket landing, just miles from the airport. News10NBC learned a local student studying abroad was able to fly out of Israel just before the ban went into effect.

Liliana Ruiz says she is relieved her son made it back to the United States safely. When he was in Israel, she says she tried to avoid the news for fear of what she might see. But that only worked for so long, before the real fear set in.

Liliana Ruiz, Marlon Williams’s son, said, “There was one day that I was scrolling through the TV channels and I stopped on CNN, and I was like, ‘Wow’. That's when the riots broke. It was the day after he had left Jerusalem. And I'm like, ‘Oh no, this is really serious. This is really serious.’”

Ruiz says her son, Marlon Williams, had gone to Israel to study ancient history through SUNY Purchase. Ruiz says she didn’t fully realize the danger until the day of the riots. Her son’s four week program had to be cut short with the violence in the area escalating. She says, for a time, she feared for his safety, but was in contact with her son daily on Facebook.

Ruiz said, “Yes, he was concerned. Yes, they did hear the bombs go off because he was only ten miles away from Gaza. So they did feel the ground shake. And never having to experience that, really shook him up.”

Ruiz says the timing was key. After escalating violence in Israel and American flights being banned from going in or out of Tel Aviv, she says one more day there and he could have been stuck for quite some time.

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