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Survivor stories

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  • Camille J.'s story

I paid off the terrorist with all the money I had to save myself and my 95-year-old patient

We were one of the first houses next to the border fence.

The Palestinian terrorists had broken into my patient’s home.

I heard a window open and a door creaking, and my fears were confirmed—they were coming in.

The door and window had been opened in my patient’s room.

A room with things thrown on the floor

Kitchen room with a brick board between the chairs

“To my horror, the fourth terrorist entered my room easily. My heart stopped, and I put my hands up, shaking nervously.”

Four times, terrorists entered the house, searching for money and things to steal. I had accepted that I would probably die and bid farewell to my family.

The first, second, and third group of terrorists didn’t attempt to enter my room, where we both were—it was the safe room. Perhaps they thought it was locked.

However, to my horror, the fourth terrorist entered my room easily. My heart stopped, and I put my hands up, shaking nervously.

Me (in Hebrew): "Hello, sir."

Terrorist (in Hebrew): "Where is the money? Where?!"

Nitza, my patient (in Hebrew): "Why are you here? Get out! Camille, why is the door open?"

She was shouting and angry.

Me: "Nitza, please be quiet. Sir, please. No, please. She’s old. Please have patience."

Terrorist: "Where is the money and phone?"

Me: "Here, here, take all of it, please."

He took my phone, and I handed him my wallet, showing him its contents.

Me: "This is the money. Take it all, sir. Okay?"

I put the money in his hand. He opened some of my bags and started asking questions.

Terrorist: "What’s in here? Quickly, quickly!"

Me: "It’s just for my hair."

Then he began searching for things, but fortunately, he didn’t find the phone because there were no lights. The electricity to the house had been cut off.

Me: "Please don’t take my passport or my ticket, sir. I need this, okay?"

I had a flight home on October 9.

He started to leave the room. I followed a step behind him, holding the door handle.

Me: "Thank you, sir!"

I bowed my head so that he would leave in peace.

I jumped over to Nitza, crying and shaking like crazy.

Nitza squeezed my hands back to relax me, and we hugged each other.

A bedroom with open drawers and documents thrown on the floor

A sofa in the living room with things scattered on the floor

TV stands on a stand with open drawers

Thank you, Lord. It’s a miracle that saved us. Thank you.

Camille J.

A Filipino caregiver who was taking care of her elderly client on Kibbutz Nirim near the border with Gaza.

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