On Saturday morning at 6:20 am, I am awake, lying in bed scrolling through social media and getting up to date when suddenly the “Red Alert” siren began. Stress, shouting, waking up the kids, and getting into the safe room.
It just went on and on, with the (Iron Dome) interceptions above the house, and more sirens and more explosions. After a few minutes where it went on non stop, we suddenly realise that they are shooting rockets all over Israel. Our children asked, “Why”???? I don’t have any answers, I know something serious is happening.
“The horror was revealed as we saw that Sderot is surrounded by dozens of terrorists”
Suddenly, we started hearing shooting bursts of fire… shouting, I don’t believe it so I run to the window, crouch down and I realise that the shooting is right next to our house, and it is not stopping. We closed the safe room again after grabbing our phones and a bottle of water for the kids, and we started getting videos from all our WhatsApp groups.
And that is where the magnitude of the horror was revealed as we saw that Sderot is surrounded by dozens of terrorists, from all directions, shooting people who went out for a morning run or elderly citizens who were waiting for a ride to a fun day outing at the Dead Sea.
In addition to all this, from our homes, we realise that our security forces of the Sderot police department are facing a huge battle inside the station. Those animals murdered our soul mates and acquaintances in the police force.
“We turned off the lights and shuttered the windows, put barriers in front of the main door and prayed that they would not be able to enter our home”
And on the streets of our city the shooting doesn’t stop. For hours we didn’t hear a helicopter or any military activity taking place. We turned off the lights and shuttered the windows, put barriers in front of the main door and prayed that they would not be able to enter our home and that this would come to an end.
We were glued to the news and to conversations between the family who were all barricaded inside their homes. My mother was alone in her home, locked herself inside the safe room, my daughter with her small children also, everyone. Stress, fear, terror and a feeling of helplessness. My daughter and I took pills to prevent anxiety attacks, but the stress and terror levels kept rising. Very difficult feelings.
“We are overwhelmed with pain and strong feelings of sorrow”
Towards Saturday afternoon, we come to realize that we had lost our best friend at the police station, a dear neighbor, and a few more friends of our in-laws. Policemen who used to come to our place on Friday afternoons for a few treats – they were all gone. Over 20 friends who served with them, gone.
The pain paralyzes our bodies, and the tears flow non stop. After a whole night where they (terrorists) bombed the police station, we realized, they are gone… everyone…
The next afternoon, we packed a few clothes and we escaped our home, going in the direction of the towns in the center of Israel. Our family was anxious.
When all the funerals took place in Sderot we couldn’t get there. The area was still under threat of rocket fire and infiltration of terrorists. Our beloved friend’s funeral was broadcast live on Whatsapp.
Not a single one of us can close his eyes. We are overwhelmed with pain and strong feelings of sorrow, and a true sense of abandonment. They abandoned all of us in the area surrounding Gaza for over 20 years.
Sderot is our home, Sderot is our heart, and our heart is crushed.