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Survivor stories

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  • Adir E.'s story

He told me, “Don’t go to Be’eri, there’s an infiltration in Be’eri.”

It’s been a week since the horrible massacre. I came to tell my story, the story of Adir.

It was Friday. Before the start of Shabbat, me and Shalev decided to meet at 23:00 to load the car with everything and head towards the girls who live in Holon, among them Shalev’s partner Hodaya and her two friends, Yuval and Hadar.

Shalev and Adir

The time came, and we hit the road with Omer Adam’s music in the background. We passed the security and the entrance and finished setting up the tents by 2:30. Before having a strong drink, we went to check out the scene on the dance floor. Everyone was having a good time and enjoying themselves.

On the way back to our tent, I saw my brother-in-law Din with his friends, and we decided to meet soon after. It’s hard to explain the first three hours of the party; I’ll just say they were the best three hours I’ve experienced at a party. An atmosphere of love, giving, freedom! Both our friends from Petah Tikva and my brother-in-law with his friends, what could be more fun than that.

Adir and a friend at NOVA

"The DJ says over the microphone, “Friends, the party’s over; there’s a red alert. Go home!” We’re shocked, not realizing we’re into something real."

It’s 6:30, and everyone on the dance floor is having the time of their lives. After exactly three minutes, the DJ turns off the music, and we can hear rocket interceptions and red alerts in the background. The DJ says over the microphone, “Friends, the party’s over; there’s a red alert. Go home!” We’re shocked, not realizing we’re into something real. We try to escape and hide, and after a few minutes, we run to the tent, gather our stuff, take only what’s essential, and rush to the car. I call my mom and tell her, “Everything’s OK, there’s a red alert, we’re fine, we’re on the way to the car, we’re going home.”

Adir, Shalev and a friend in a field

We got in the car and started driving in the direction of the highway, and on the way, we began hearing bursts of gunfire, still not understanding we were at the beginning of war. There was a bottleneck at the highway entrance, and everyone abandoned their cars and ran for their lives while the rockets and gunfire were all around us. We felt like we were in a horror movie but stayed in the car until we saw the car next to us, pierced by bullets and a woman coming out screaming, “My leg, they shot me.” When we heard that, I exchanged a glance with Shalev, and we got out of the car, shouting, “Girls, get out! Now!!” We escaped toward the open field, to where a high-ranking officer in the army told us to go. Din stood close to him and yelled to us, “Quick, get on the ground and get out of here!” That was the last time I saw Din that day.

While we were running and hiding in bushes and trees, I finished a water bottle and put it in a patch of long, dry grass; I have no idea why. For about an hour, Shalev, the girls, and I wandered lost in the fields; everyone was chaotic, screaming and crying. After about an hour, I saw the grass with the bottle from another direction; I knew we must come together. I opened a map and saw that Re’im was to the south, so we could not go there. West is the bank, east is an empty field, and north is Be’eri - so we’ll go to Be’eri, the closest kibbutz, where we can take cover.

Adir walking with other party goers

On the way to Be’eri, a gap formed between me, Shalev, and Hodaya, and I was left only with Yuval and Hadar. While running and escaping terrorists, I spoke and calmed Yuval’s dad, and he asked me where I was going. I explained that the closest kibbutz is Be’eri, and when he heard that, he told me, “Don’t go to Be’eri, there’s an infiltration in Be’eri.” The moment I heard that, I started shouting to everyone around, “Don’t go to Be’eri, don’t go north, there’s an infiltration in Be’eri.” After that, we changed direction to the east. I saw on the map an old security building called “Sumara,” we’ll try to get there.

I was afraid it would get dark. I was on the phone all the time, speaking with everyone’s parents as we ran away from gunfire and praying that someone would find us and help us. At 10:30, my mom asked for an update, so I told her, “We saw someone who said we should go to Moshav Patish, so don’t worry.” I bluffed and told her there were IDF and police forces there to keep her calm. At this stage my phone died. Yuval and Hadar were hysterical; I never let go of their hands for a second.

Eventually, while drinking from the irrigation systems and running for our lives, we made it to Moshav Patish. There was an armed guard, and water bottles waited for us in the shelter, and we felt somewhat safe. Shalev and Hodaya were behind us, so I went looking for them at Yuval’s request. I couldn’t find them, but after a few minutes, they came, and we hugged and cried; they arrived 20-30 minutes after us to Beit Ha’am in Moshav Patish.

A girl named Yamit offered to take us to her home and care for us, an angel from heaven. We went with her, and she took care of us; her parents-in-law hugged us, but we still felt terrible. Our friends were wounded, and some of them didn’t make it back. We just wanted to dance!

Around 14:30, my uncle arrived after escaping cops and roadblocks (Ofakim was still blockaded). He took us, and we still didn’t digest or know anything. At about 17:00, we made it home safely; we’re here to survive and tell our story!

I apologize that I couldn’t include everything and skipped many incidents along the way. Thank God for bringing us home safely; thanks to Yuval and Hadar, who helped me not panic by pushing me to handle the situation as best I could. Shalev and Hodaya are an amazing couple, and Shalev always took care of her. My heart goes out to the abductees, the families of the fallen, and the wounded. So help us God, we will prevail over this evil; the Eternal People have no fear of the long road ahead.

Adir E.

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