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They put an explosive device on the door of the safe room

  • Lala L.'s story

Bullets whistled past my head

I got to the party at 2:00 in the morning. I was supposed to start working at the bar at 8:00. I slept in the car until 5:00 am and then went in. I met two friends of mine that had also come to work. We danced together, we were part of the party. Now they are missing. 

I went to get tea and sat down in the sitting area. Behind me, the sun started to rise. People took out their phones. I thought they wanted to take pictures of the sunrise. It turns out, they were taking pictures of rocket interceptions. 

Credit: Lala L. (posted on Ynet)

Within seconds, the booms started. It took a few moments to understand what was happening. The music was turned off and police told us to evacuate to a protected area. My boyfriend was in the parking area. He had just arrived to work also. I told him that I was coming to him. On the way, I saw a policeman in a video call with his young son. The son told him he was scared. The policeman answered, “Don’t worry, I’m coming home soon.” I think about that policeman and really want to know what happened to him. I hope he managed to get back home. 

On my way out, I saw a girl crying in fright and stayed with her a little. I went on to my boyfriend and from then on, there was the feeling that everything was just a matter of fate. If there had been another delay or wrong turn, I would have ended up on the list of names. 

“If there had been another delay or wrong turn, I would have ended up on the list of names.”

At the exit, when we were already in the car, a policeman directed us towards the Gaza envelope. We drove and drove, and saw that we were going south. We turned around. I called a friend who was at the party and he told me, “They’re shooting at us. Get away from here.” I told him to stop joking around and he said, “Lala, they’re shooting at us,” and the call was cut off. I told my boyfriend and another friend who was with us, “There’s shooting, be alert.” 

“And then the shooting started – a crazy barrage from every direction.”

Once again we got closer to the area of the party; that was the way home. And then we heard a red alert siren. All the people around us got out of their cars and lay down on the ground. We did also. And then the shooting started – a crazy barrage from every direction. They shot without stopping. It felt like it went on forever. Bullets whistled past my head. The whole time I said to myself, “Now it’s stopping. Now the army is coming. Now, helicopters will shoot the terrorists from above.” But no one came. 

I counted at least three bullets that just missed me. I realized that a bullet could get me under the car so I crawled and hid behind a wheel. I looked at what was happening around me. People were panicking. A girl ran in the direction of a migunit [small, doorless concrete shelter] and I prayed that a bullet wouldn’t hit her and she wouldn’t fall in front of my eyes like in a movie. She made it there.   

“We realized that there were terrorists in the entire area.”

My boyfriend said to me, “We’re not staying here.” We crawled to the doors of the car and got in quickly. We felt one serious boom. Something flew above us, I don’t know what it was. We pulled the seats back and crouched the whole drive. We drove without knowing where we were going. After a few meters, we stopped next to a migunit and thought about what to do. Cyclists who were there said to us, “Don’t continue in that direction, there is shooting.” We said to them, “But we came from an area with shooting.” We realized that there were terrorists in the entire area. We stayed in the migunit but I wasn’t calm. Who said the terrorists wouldn’t come here too and shoot us at point blank? 

The cyclists told us, “There’s a kibbutz not far from here and they have a rapid response team. Go there.” We went to Kibbutz Saad. The rapid response team that was outside directed us inside. From one of the houses, an angel came out to us, Sara J. and she invited us to come into her home. She made sure we ate and drank. I wrote to my parents that I was home, in Tel Aviv, so they wouldn't worry.  

At 3:30 in the afternoon, after nine hours in the safe room, I decided that we would try to go home again. Sara told us there is another gate leading to a different highway. We thought that maybe from that direction they wouldn’t attack us. The soldiers at the gate gave us permission to go. 

The drive back to Tel Aviv was horrible. There were terrible images along the way. Bodies all along the way, burnt and destroyed cars, broken windows, cars that had crashed into fences. Every few kilometers, soldiers stopped us, checked that we were citizens, and then gave us permission to keep going. The body is so tired and hurt. At night, I switch off and fall asleep. I still can’t process what happened. Maybe I am just starting to now. I feel like my story is small in comparison to other people who survived the party.  

Lala L.

Credit: Ynet


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