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Survivor stories

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  • Alona T.'s story

He pleaded for his life, but we were powerless to intervene as he was abducted in plain sight

How did it all begin, and how did it come to an end?


We arrived at the party at 4:30 a.m. The atmosphere was filled with smiles, hugs, lots of friends, and an abundance of love. Little did we know what was about to unfold.







At around 6:15 a.m, rockets began to streak across the sky, and, living in Israel, this was nothing new. Nevertheless, the events that unfolded five minutes later caught us completely off guard.


"For six agonizing hours, we heard nothing but Arabic and saw no signs of our own forces. We knew we were on our own"


Everyone rushed to their cars, hoping to escape the incoming missiles and make their way back home. However, a massive traffic jam had formed at the entrance, forcing us to abandon our vehicle and opt for a strategy of waiting until the chaos subsided.





As we exited the car, a cry of "terrorist infiltration" pierced the air. Out of a group of six people, two friends fled, another vanished into the nearby forest, leaving only three of us behind: myself, Dana F., and my sister's fiancé. The urgency was palpable as we ran for our lives, every moment feeling like an eternity.


We sought refuge under a tree, although it provided scant cover, offering only exposed branches that failed to shield us from the relentless bullets whizzing overhead, fired by the unseen assailants. It was a cacophony of gunfire, with perhaps over a hundred bullets in the air.


"We witnessed an Israeli individual being captured by the terrorists, right before our eyes. He pleaded for his life"


Next to us we witnessed an Israeli individual being captured by the terrorists, right before our eyes. He pleaded for his life, but we were powerless to intervene as he was abducted in plain sight. The ensuing screams and cries defied description, a nightmarish soundscape. The terrorists surrounded us, and we had no way of relocating from our vulnerable position. I was convinced they would discover us, certain of it.


Yet, six hours passed without any assistance. For six agonizing hours, we heard nothing but Arabic and saw no signs of our own forces. We knew we were on our own, and despair set in.

During this time, the terrorists began setting fire to vehicles. Fortunately, the smoke from the burning trees didn’t come in our direction.





When the fire got nearer to us, we faced a harrowing decision: stay and burn or risk running, knowing that snipers could be lurking anywhere. The smoke provided some concealment as we fled, managing to evade harm. Reaching another tree where other Israelis had sought refuge, we joined them and, for another hour and a half, continued to crawl, hide, and run until our rescue forces came into view.


No matter how much I recount this experience, it is impossible to convey the full extent of it without being there in the midst of it. I came [to the party] to seek solace, but I left with deeper scars, knowing that Alona would never be the same person again.


Alona T.





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