This post is dedicated to my hero Leon.
We were at the party having the time of our lives, happy and content with the thought of having the most unforgettable evening.
Never could we have imagined that this evening would become unforgettable as a result of the following reasons.
We were dancing when the missiles started flying over towards us, I began to panic – we all laid on the floor gazing up into the sky, watching as it lit up like fireworks.
We waited there, until the police informed us to make our way to our cars. Within the chaos of the situation, while the sky was thundering above us with rockets and missiles, we took a picture of us all smiling, without realising the extent of the devastation and the massacre that was underway.
We got into our car and got stuck in a traffic jam of cars trying to leave, when we suddenly heard someone yelling – Terrorists!!!! Get out of your cars!!! Shots from behind us suddenly got closer and closer and we began running without knowing where we were running to.
A girl was shot in her leg, and I am unable to look and just keep on running, focusing on my own two legs making sure I do not trip or fall, whilst at the same time hearing gunshots from all sides. We begin running in the fields towards Kibbutz Beeri when we suddenly hear someone yelling that “the terrorists have infiltrated Beeri”.
Behind us, in the fields of Beeri, terrorists keep on running after us. At this point I have been running for two hours. We eventually reach a field where we encounter 30 people and none of us understand where we are supposed to be running to. We notice 2 terrorists firing and running after us and at the same time we hear a group of Israelis calling out to us from inside a ditch to come and hide with them. I realise that if I hear them and see them, then so will the terrorists, so I begin running the complete opposite direction from everybody else, when I start hearing continuous gunshots and screams – I realise I made the correct decision.
I find myself running in the fields alone until I suddenly see 3 girls in the same situation – i ask to join them, if we could be together in order not to be alone.
We begin running and gunshots from all directions and we just do not know where to run anymore, it seems there are no directions left. We decide to lay down on the grass next to a bush and begin covering ourselves with leaves, praying that nobody will discover us.
We start calling the police, they promise that they will come and rescue us, so we send our location. The police officer then informs me that they will not come to our rescue until the army has eliminated the terrorists. With a screaming heart, I cry to him whispering that if he does not come, we will not be alive – he apologises and disconnects the call.
I understand we are alone – nobody is going to protect us. I decide to upload a story in the hope that somebody will see and come, then my phone shuts down.
(instagram story uploaded by Lior O. just before her phone battery died)
I pray to God and try not to breathe or make noise when I hear the terrorists speaking next to us. I hear their happiness and them chanting ‘Allah Aqbar’, whilst hearing a further scream from an Israeli they found hiding. I understand the terrorists are scanning the entire area and it is just a matter of time until they find us. We are so close to them, we are the next in line.
After six hours in hiding, in a landscape with non-stop gunfire and explosions, whilst still hearing the voices of terrorists and without the opportunity to call my loved ones, a guy by the name of Rami D. decided to take it upon himself to start rescuing people.
Rami is en route to us, yet he is unable to locate us and is also unable to get close enough, as the area is unsafe, just then our phone battery dies. We then follow the honking coming from another car and begin crawling on the grass towards it and then we see him – my protector, my angel – Leon who calls us to get into the car.
I will never forget that within the chaos he asked us to call his wife and thank her that she agreed to let him leave the house and tell her that he is doing something important and rescuing people, to calm her so she won’t worry.
I want to thank you Leon, you and your entire family – it is because of you that I am alive today and that my family is functioning. Because of you, many families and friends received their loved ones back healthy.
Colonel Leon Bar was murdered by terrorists while he was evacuating the injured and dead. Leon, you were our hero at a time our country could not be. My heart aches that you were taken from this world. All that is left to say is thank you. I owe you my life, and send my condolences to your family. You will always be remembered as a hero.