At 6:30 we heard a red alert siren that saved our lives. We all ran to the safe room, my mother and I from the bedroom, Oren from the living room, and we met the children there.
After a few minutes, we heard gunshots around the house. We heard the sounds of shattering glass and objects falling. We realized that something bigger was happening. We heard voices in Arabic very close to us and Oren held the door of the safe room. In our neighborhood WhatsApp group, they were talking about grenades being thrown into houses and the smell of smoke. I read these messages and got angry at whoever wrote these fantasies. It couldn’t have been true.
I received a message about our dear, late, Tehila and I couldn’t believe it. I was sure she had no reception and was alive. We heard noises of heavy tools outside our house. The IDF is here I thought. But that wasn’t the case. It was the animals that took over the vehicles and destroyed every beautiful corner of our house. Part of the time, the children were on the floor, under the bed, scared and cold. For hours they didn’t utter a word. Not asking for water and food. Immediately understanding their role, to be quiet and hide. My Temari fell asleep from fear.
“In our neighborhood WhatsApp group, they were talking about grenades being thrown into houses and the smell of smoke. It couldn’t have been true.”
My hero mother took care of the children, kept me calm, and kept me strong. It hurts me that she had to go through this trauma with us. Noises of gunfire in the air. And then silence. And so on. It lasted for hours. The silence gave us hope but the sounds of gunfire shattered it.
At around 2 p.m., the sounds of gunfire started again, and this time we also heard the other side fighting. We understood that the IDF came. Later we were informed that the soldiers were going through the houses and we heard “It’s the IDF, the IDF, is there anyone in the house?” But I begged Oren not to answer until we were sure it was them.
Two more hours passed, Oren heard soldiers and went to check. There were ten soldiers on our balcony. We left the safe room for a moment accompanied by the soldiers and discovered the enormous damage caused to our house. The showcase door was completely smashed, the kitchen window was broken and there were holes in the ceiling.
“We began to process the horror, the magnitude of the disaster, and the massive damage.”
At 18:30 we were evacuated to Kibbutz Gvulot. A trip I will never forget. The Kibbutz gate and the gatekeeper station were dismantled from the ground up. Tamri and Be’eri sat on shattered glass in the car. Bodies were thrown on the road. Tanks caught on fire and vehicles were dismantled on the road.
The next morning we traveled to Samar, protected and safe. We began to process the horror, the magnitude of the disaster, and the massive damage. Holit was our home. I don’t know where we will go from here. I do know that a great miracle happened to us, we all survived and I am thankful for it every moment.