This is my testimony from the Gaza border region.
Sorry for being confused or unclear. I’ll just say that it doesn’t describe a hundredth of the feelings.
A day before Oct 7th.
Yair is asking to go to sleep at the neighbors’ house – “go sweetie, have fun.”
Yigal is reminding me that he’s going out at 6am to pick up a friend from Ben Gurion airport.
Fast forward 8 hours.
Oct 7th, 6am.
Siren. Arad ran to me and I ran back to her.
I’m texting Yigal that Yair is not home, and then I calm down because they are sleeping in their home shelter. The sirens don’t stop and then I hear gunfire and Arabic.
“Is it Arabic?? It’s Arabic!!”
I’m writing in the kibbutz WhatsApp group: “I hear Arabic”. At first they don’t believe me… until they do. The windows of the house are breaking and they are inside our home.
2-3 of them are talking between themselves and I’m holding the handle of our home shelter. Arad fell asleep and Arbel as well…they put themselves to bed.
I’m writing to Yigal- “they are here”. They are probably seeing our empty home and thinking that there’s no one home.
And Yigal… racing back home. In retrospect, it was madness, but by 8ish, he was home.
Yairi… I’m trying to go out and I’m hearing them outside the house. I’m going back in and trying to reach our beloved Katy and Shay. Yair is there.
They are writing: ‘Terrorists inside our home’ and disappear from the radar.
My heart was crushed and shattered to pieces. It’s been hours and they don’t answer.
Yigal doesn’t tell me, but Yair’s phone’s location shows Khan Yunis.
The children are thirsty, hungry, but not making a sound.
I’m throwing everything out of the closet, taking a basket and some clothes, and organizing a toilet cubicle (I’ll spare you the details). During all this time, the neighbors and I are begging for help, (there is) shooting, terrorists, a house on fire with a baby in it, and they are suffocating. How many times have I written in the group- “There is no army!!”, and “ Where is the army?”.
Our incredible and brave emergency response team is trying to help, going from house to house. Our angels. And men and women who kept me sane through this entire thing.
“Yair… I don’t have my Yair” I cry.
Shay is writing after hours.
Until he is telling us the name of the dog he wanted to adopt we don’t believe it’s him.
The terrorists took their cellphones. They are fine. Afterwards, they’re updating again about terrorists and disappear. My heart is almost beating out of my chest. At half past three (!!) They are rescuing Yair and our beloved friends. Yair is calling to hear our voice. My heart is healing. We can go out to get food and water and return to the home shelter. There’s still shooting, Arabic, and we’re going back inside the home shelter.
It sounds like they are hiding in our house.
The army arrives again at 5pm and I’m joining Yair. God… my beauty, what a hug.
I heard from Katy what a hero he was, that he strengthened and hugged them. We were evacuated to the nurseries together with the army for the night. At 5pm the next day we left the Kibbutz in a convoy.
Nirim’s WhatsApp group… I scrolled back. the horror.
We were abandoned, and may no one tell me otherwise.