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The terrorists were at our doorstep. I sat there with my son, petrified

  • Elad P.'s story

I keep sending messages. I beg for help. I write “HELP US!”, but no one is coming

My story is not one of the worst. Now that we are out, and we begin to receive more and more information, we know that much already.

In a vacuum, my story would be the opening headline of all israeli newscasts. These days, it is not even one of the most horrendous three thousand stories. The hurt, the horror, and the suffering that others experienced, and still experiencing, are many times worse. One needs to know that, to understand that, to acknowledge that.

But this is my story, it has value. It needs to be heard too. So, I will tell it. At 11:00 in the morning the terrorists broke into my home. Me, my wife and my 6-month-old daughter have locked ourselves in our fortified safe room in complete silence. I immediately reached out for help. Ive send Whatsapp messages to everyone I can. I stand by the safe room door, holding an axe, and wait. The minutes go by, I wait for someone to come. I hear the terrorists speaking Arabic in my home, and I hear how they are moving about and looking around the house. They very slowly come closer to the safe room. I continue to send messages. I beg for help,I scream in writing Save Us! No one comes. The terrorists start trying to open the safe room door. I am certain that if they succeed, it's the end. Don't bring a knife to a gun fight. An axe will be of no help. Perhaps, if I'm lucky, I'll be able to chop off a hand or foot of one of them, but there are at least three of them and they carry firearms. As they continue trying to break open the safe room door over and over, I am sending texts, the axe in one hand, the cellphone in the other shaking hand. I know that these are probably all our final minutes; mine, Maria's and little Leen's too.

At this point, the terrorists have been in our home for a half hour and no one has come to save us. I want it known, so that no one can coverup what happened. I am reminded of the famous recording of a soldier on the Chinese Farm, (an idf post on the suez cannal) at this time I am embarrassed that I don't remember his name. The soldier, calling over the communications system, tells them, "you abandoned us, God will take revenge on you for that." I am an atheist. I haven't written about God. I have decided not to quote the soldier expect words. I simply said that the terrorists have been in the house for over a half an hour, that no one has come to help us, that exactly like what happened at the Chinese Farm - we were abandoned.

"It could be that if they knew there was a baby inside, they would have made greater efforts to break open the door"

'Note – the word used in Hebrew "af-ki-ru" does not translate well to English. It's combines abandoned with something like unethical and criminal neglect. End note'

I don't know if the terrorists knew there were people in the safe room. We have a tendency to analyze things in a cool and thoughtful way, but I'm sure the terrorists were under pressure and were not thinking in a cool and organized manner. I can also say that throughout that day Leen stayed completely silent. She played silently, ate silently, she didn't let out a peep. We have a golden child. It could be that if they knew there was a baby inside, they would have made greater efforts to break open the door. Around 12:00 someone else came into the house, said something in Arabic, and they left the house. It had been an hour since the terrorists had entered our home, and no one came to help. Many long hours passed until soldiers came to us….

At 11 pm we were evacuated from the kibbutz. Yes, from 6 in the morning until 11 in the evening we were in the safe room with bombs, shooting, invasion of terrorists in our home, with very limited ability to communicate with the outside world, and with half rumors about the atrocities going on outside. Already, as we were being evacuated, I learned that something I feared through out the day had indeed come to pass. A good friend and a wonderful man, had disappeared and no one knew what had happened to him. We arrived at a military base in southern Israel. We met our community there. people who were holding themselves up by the skin of their teeth so they won't break. Then we begin to hear about the casualties, the kidnapped, families that were murdered. Friends and acquaintances who were from the communities bordering Gaza. Children who saw things I don't want to describe here. As I said- my story is not one of the worst, but if you have read this far, soon I will explain to you why it is so important for me to tell it.

At this point, the terrorists have been in our home for a half hour and no one has come to save us. I want it known, so that no one can coverup what happened.

I walk out side the military base and allow myself to fall apart for 3 minutes. I want to shout of the top of my long, but I don't allow myself. The community is barely keeping it together. If one person falls apart, it's quite possible everyone else will. In my head, I scream as loud as I possibly can. I don't know if anyone else has had that experience. For me, it was the first time. I wipe my tears for 3 minutes, and return to help my family. One of my brothers has still not been evacuated and I won't stop worrying until I hug him.

"Five hours passed from the beginning of the event until the terrorists broke into my home. They stood a half a meter from my small baby"

From there we are brought to a Kibbutz in the north. From then on, every hour or two on average, I hear about another friend, acquaintance, child that I worked with, parents of friends, missing, murdered or kidnapped. As of now it is still going on. The Gaza border area is where I grew up. The place where I work. I have been connected to people throughout the area for 40 years. This is my world. My world has been destroyed. I still don't know how to digest these things. Truthfully, I don't know how much more I'll have to digest. Every minute more information is revealed and more pain is poured into this dark void.

Now There are things I need to say, more things that need to be heard. "Quiet, there's shooting". If my memory is not mistaken, the saying "quiet, there's shooting" was first written by Amiram Nir (rip). in an opinion piece written at the beginning of the first Lebanon War. He said that the army and the government should not be criticized while there's still fighting going on. Over time this saying has become a widely used phrase in every conflict Israel has taken part in.

Those who support this idea, say that while the battle is taking place, we have to be united in order to maintain national resilience. In the past I gave this argument a lot of weight, with some reservations, of course. But I no longer believe that. The government and the heads of the IDF abandoned me, my wife and my daughter. They abandoned my mother, my brothers. They abandoned my friends, acquaintances, my world.

They will say they caught them by surprise, a huge intelligence failure, yes? The event began at 6 in the morning. How long does it take to send military forces? An hour? Two hours? Three? Maybe four? There is no justification for four hours in any situation. Within four hours it is possible to bring armed forces even from the Golan Heights. Five hours passed from the beginning of the event until the terrorists broke into my home. They stood a half a meter from my small baby. The safe room's door was locked with a small metal bar, it is the onlything that kept us from being on the list of those kidnapped or slaughtered. A simple metal bar. Not the IDF. Not the police, the air force wasn't around. No helicopters, no drones. Those, by the way, can be sent in less than an hour. They left us to die. Me, and the people that I am most connected to. They abandoned us. They abandoned us. They abandoned us.

That is the truth. As far as this government is concerned our lives are worthless. There is no excuse or justification that I'll exept from them. In the last two decades, Israel as gone through a process of civel decy, A large part of the Israeli public was ready to repeat lies providedby politicians. "Yes, he surrounded himself by sycophants but who can we choose instead of him?" "Yes, he lies all the time, but what is the alternative?" "Yes, he sows hatred - but the leftists!" "His wife the psy-chol-o- gist - B-A, M- A" And the the son is a ****child, but he meets with Putin and Trump, and the classic, but Bennet?!?

"At this point, the terrorists have been in our home for a half hour and no one has come to save us. I want it known, so that no one can coverup what happened"

When citizens are willing to give political parties control of their tongues, and repeat their lies, the lie rules. And for that, you will pay the Piper. We paid with interest on Saturday. But smaller payments were made even earlier. The country is divided, broken. The economy is shattered. The education system is trashed. And the lies continue. I see this point in time as a national test. If the public does not realize the necessity of demanding that Netanyahu be removed, there is no reason to continue living in Israel. I will leave. That means the lie as sunk the ship. You. Benjamin Netanyahu, you are responsible. You abandoned us, the residents of the communities on the Gaza border. You need to put your letter of resignation on our table - and leave. Yes. We will demand the same of Gallant, and Herzi HaLevi. But you are in the ruling government for most of the past 20 years. You caused this damage.

I wrote that I am an atheist. Judaism is an ethno-religious group. Ethnically, I am Jewish. In the Jewish tradition every single person is an entire world. This is an inseparable part of our ethos. You, Benjamin Netanyahu, destroyed entire worlds. You must now turn in your Jewish membership card. You are not a Jew. Jews don't do these things. Go on, say again "But Ehud Barak, but Yair Lapid, yeah, but Gantz." No more excuses. No more spins. And NO MORE LIES,You are responsible for my friends who were kidnapped to Gaza, for my relatives who were murdered and will never return. For the unbelievable sorrow that surrounds our entire world in our communities. Quiet, there's shooting? No, no, there will be none of that. quiet, there's shooting! You dont deserve this. You abandoned us. Unity of the people? You are not of our people. Unity is what I owe to the people of the communities near the Gaza border, who escapeed the inferno no thanks to you. We need unity of one person to another. We need unity with the soldiers who came and rescued us after hours in which we were left to die.

I expect your letter of resignation on my table, on the collective table of residents of the communities on the Gaza border.

Elad P.

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