Over 1,400 Israelis Were Murdered

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We realized the first vehicles in the traffic jam weren’t moving because the passengers were dead

It took a while for the words to come, but here is my story. Those who did not witness the…

We realized the first vehicles in the traffic jam weren’t moving because the passengers were dead

It took a while for the words to come, but here is my story. Those who did not witness the massacre at the Nova festival will never understand.

The festival is always held in the most beautiful place. Every party starts knowing that ahead of us there are at least 10 hours of worry-free fun in our home for the day. Everyone is barefoot and completely carefree. Beautiful People.

We went to the party and something felt strange. We have been going to this sort of party for a long time, it wasn’t new to us. But the energy there was different. We thought that when the sun rose, things would feel better. When other DJs arrived, maybe the energy would change. Perhaps if some more friends came the atmosphere would have improved. We tried to find excuses.

Half an hour before the whole commotion started we were sitting in our Kanta (our private relaxation area). Naama and I sat on the chairs, Doshi was lying on the floor with a blanket, and we were all mourning. Mourning for something we didn’t know was coming. In the end – only three of the five of us in the Kanta would return. We began to mourn before the mourning began. That was the feeling. Our stomachs ached. We couldn’t describe the energy in words.

06:00: The sun rose, the party started to be enjoyable, fun. Naama and I were dancing, and we began to smile. And BOOM! The music stopped. Sirens started, there were missiles flying through the air, no one understood what was happening. The situation had been turned on its head.

So we reevaluated. We went to collect our things and waited by the car. Inbar said “It’s dangerous to travel during a siren”. So we waited. Daria stood and recited the prayer Shema Yisrael for all of us, praying that we will all arrive home safely. We got into the car, and from that moment on, everything went wrong.

If we had thought that until then everything had gone wrong, we began to realize that there was more to come. That a lot more that could, and would, go wrong.

There were five of us in our car. Five souls. Five universes. Each one with a different destiny. At the end of the day, Daria and I returned, shocked to be alive, shocked that we were together again. Shocked that we managed to survive it all, each in her own way. Naama was hospitalized after 3 bullets hit her, and thank God she is alive and at home recovering. Ilkin was murdered. The last piece of information we have about Inbar is a video of four terrorists kidnapping her on a motorcycle headed to Gaza, and [as I write this] we don’t know what her current condition is.

The five of us got into the car and set off, we reached the party site entrance and were greeted by a traffic jam. We got in and out of the car a few times because of the sirens.

Then we started hearing gunshots. As a former border patrol officer, I know that when gunshots are shot in bursts they are not ours [the IDF’s]. In retrospect, we realized that the first few vehicles in the traffic jam were not driving because all the people inside were dead.

Suddenly, we noticed the gunfire getting closer. There were screams, and about a thousand people running for their lives, including policemen, back from the entrance towards us. We realized there was a problem. We all ran to the area inside the party, people fell on the way. There was no help, we just kept running. We were ducks on a shooting range.

We had split up as we ran, each of us taking care of ourselves. When I reached the party area, I suddenly realized that there were also terrorists coming from the other side of the party, in the direction I was running. I tried another direction. They were there too. We were surrounded.

I thought I knew what a terrorist attack was. I thought I had to find a safe place for two hours, someone would kill them and we would return to the car. No one thought that ten hours of partying would turn into ten hours spent running from terrorists in endless prayer.

“We tried to be quiet, the shots were getting closer, people screaming, screams of pain and screams in Arabic. Only God knows what was going on there.”

We got to the central party area. Daria, Inbar, and I lay under the stage with 70 other people for about 20 – 30 minutes. We tried to be quiet, the shots were getting closer, people screaming, screams of pain and screams in Arabic. Only God knows what was going on there. More people came to hide under the stage. Luckily, or unfortunately, for me, I reached the side of the stage. At that moment I thought, either I die first, or I run away first, depending on which direction the first terrorist comes from. Suddenly the policeman who was guarding us from the outside screamed at us to get out of there now!

Luckily, I was on the safe side of the stage, I lifted the cover and got out. There was a fence, so I jumped over and started running. From the moment I started running, I couldn’t find any of my friends. I realized that those who had stayed and didn’t have time to get out from under the stage had been brutally shot. I wanted to run and hide in the bathroom (later I found out that except for two compartments, all the bathrooms were also blasted with bullets).

While running I saw a car. Suddenly, it stopped next to me, and someone screamed “get in!” I sat on someone next to the driver with someone else on top of me. Five people were in the back and another two in the trunk. We drove across the fields, until we got to the main road, and then turned right. After 20 seconds of driving we saw the vans full of terrorists shooting at us in the distance. The driver stopped and made a sharp U-turn, accelerating from 0 to 200 km/h. But after ten seconds of driving the other way, other vans of terrorists were shooting at us.

After four times driving back and forth on the road led us to the decision to go North with the acknowledgement that whatever happens, happens. Suddenly we saw an empty piece of land on the side of the road, there was a tank with 30 people from the party and some policemen. They saw we were stuck on the road and yelled at us to leave the car, that it was not safe to stay in the car. Our driver stopped and we ran to them with our hands over our heads. Bullets flying everywhere, explosions from everywhere.

We lay on the floor by the tank, almost 30 people, one on top of the other in 3 square meters, for at least five and a half hours. We were stuck there. Only after four hours did rescuers manage to reach us.

Rockets in the sky, grenades, RPGs, gunfire, every kind of ammunition was there. We started dividing roles and talking about who did what in the army. One woman was a tank instructor and they asked her to start the tank. People asked: Who knows how to shoot a mag rifle? Who knows how to shoot an M16? Who knows how to connect through the radio to the army? Literally an auction of survival and self defense skills.

Liron, a policeman who was with me, was a Godsend. I wish I could find him. During all the explosions in the sky, he said: “take a selfie, we’ll be home today, but take a photo as a reminder”. I wish I could find you! So that’s just what I did, even though I’m laying on the ground, you gave me a reason to smile. Below is the picture with you.

Looking back, I realize that two soldiers were kidnapped from that tank, and two soldiers were killed inside. There wasn’t much left by the time we got there, we took the ammunition and what was left inside and tried to survive. Terrorists were coming from every direction, we were lucky that one man took command, a superman. He just shouted at everyone and decided: “From now on there is me who says when to shoot, there are those who shoot, there are those who take care of the wounded, and everyone else prays to God – because we are destroying them today!” What confidence he brought to the situation. Divine protection in itself.

There was no time to cry at any moment of the day. I had to be one hundred percent in the moment, because every moment our thoughts were all over the place. I spoke for twenty seconds with my older brother who supported me, gave me the confidence I needed, and of course to Ravit, my wonderful woman, who helped me protect myself and all of us throughout the day. I managed to support the people around me as much as I could, with hugs, by saying “today, we are going home”, or by being there when hope simply ran out. And it ran out many times.

I found myself lying on the floor hugging someone who had been lying on my legs for a long time. I could no longer feel my legs, I got a feeling of necrosis in both knees. I asked him to help me lift them to the other side. I was stroking the face of someone behind me who had been shot in the hand and was trying to survive, together with the rest of us.

Shots. explosions. Every few minutes, whoever was lying at the edge of our group was shot. Those under the tank and those in other places. We took off our clothes, tore them, and made tourniquets. Those who knew how to treat the wounded did so.

And we still needed to pray. “Soon we’ll be out”. Screams of girls yelling from the pain of a bullet penetrating their body. Screams of pain and fear, worse than any horror movie.

With every explosion or shot I heard, I didn’t know if it was from our side or not, if I had been hurt or not. I didn’t know where I was, and at the same time I knew exactly where I was. “Am I dead? Am I alive? What is happening to me?” I have never prayed for life like I did that day. And not just for my life, for all of us. I realized that my role wasn’t over, I had more to do here, I had something to give, I will be home, today no matter what. This would not be how my life ends. They need me at home. I still want my home.

Our ammunition was slowly running out, only a few pistols and a mag rifle were left. Luckily policemen stopped terrorists behind us, who had raised their hands in surrender and threw their weapons on the ground. After a while, a policeman found himself walking around with the terrorist’s weapon, in case he had to shoot, because he had no bullets left.

After four hours of deep prayer, and a knowledge that I would be going home today (not as faith but as a fact), the first army jeep arrived, and then another one. Exactly as I had imagined it. My hopes for the unit of border guards, the ones I imagined, had arrived.

One bottle of water for everyone, and toffee candies. Suddenly the army came in and took control over the area, helicopters in the air, another four or five jeeps, special units, evacuating the wounded. People had been bleeding for hours.

They brought us water, candy and gave us air. They started protecting us and the tank, so that those of us who had been fighting could rest and breathe. All the party goers who suddenly had to become warriors were replaced by soldiers.

I discovered so many abilities and strengths. Thank you for watching over me and showing me the way. I felt like I was a puppet on a string and every time I ran, something just pulled me from above and put me in a safe place. Any other tiny change in direction would have resulted in a completely different end. Try, in the middle of all this, to answer your phone to say that everything is fine and you are alive. While everything is not fine at all…

I met so many special people, those who helped me, and those who continue to shine in a different way, even when they won’t return. Thank you to everyone who looked after me. Thank you for the divine care you sent to me in so many forms.

Five and a half hours after arriving at the tank, soldiers took me and three others in a private police vehicle. They asked us to lower our heads. I won’t lie that I looked to see why. The whole area was full of bodies, of terrorists, policemen, civilians, full of vehicles strewn everywhere. So much devastation, but I still saw the divine providence that let me live to see it.

On the way, we found the body of a policewoman. They wanted us to stop and put her corpse on us so they wouldn’t kidnap her. We couldn’t handle it, so we asked them to let us out and continue their holy work. May God forgive me. They left us at a gas station, and suddenly I saw a friend in a car whose name I had already forgotten from all the shock. They let me get into the trunk, and drove me to Ofakim police station, a safe place.

I could barely walk, I couldn’t feel my legs. I was lucky to escape with some bruising and bleeding. But that’s nothing compared to what could have happened to me. I realized that now was the time to look for my friends. To find out what happened to them as well.

I’m alive. I am alive. Thank you for this new life.

Then I started crying.

Eden S.