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Survivor stories

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He saw beloved friends of ours, some shot all over their bodies, others burnt alive

  • May H.'s story

I smeared blood over my face and lay as if I was dead for three hours

So, I went to work with my Liron, at a bar at a party. We spent all night and the following morning together, and we had such a fun time. There was an amazing sunrise, and we were just going towards the caravan to sit, drink coffee and rest. Then the rockets started. The music stopped and we waited for the rocket barrage to stop so we could go home. Then my friend Bar called me and told me that they and everyone driving on the road were being shot at. Liron and I ran to the police and tried to make them send reinforcements and then we realized that the terrorists were close. There was chaos. We were all sitting on the floor. Some were crying and some were shouting, some were having panic attacks and some were in complete silence. And just like in our relationship - I hugged the ones that cried and could barely breathe. And Liron – like Liron – helped the wounded while we were under fire.

The shots started coming closer to us. The policemen stood ready with weapons by the door and looked at each other with a terrified look and said, "let’s go get them." They turned to us and said, "pray, and run." They stormed out and fell, one after the other.

They fired a series of bullets at our container and for a moment there was silence within the storm. We ran to the field - I turned back and saw Liron. She didn't come with us. We ran for our lives and got to the ambulance that was in the area and hid behind it while the shots came from every direction. I saw someone up ahead shouting, "come here, it's safer here" so I ran to him. No one came with me.

"We started hearing footsteps approaching, and we prayed. They found us. Eight of them"

We started running and saw a car approaching. It was someone from the party and he told us, "get in the car, I'm going to the main road, we'll escape, quickly." We got into his vehicle, he drove, and they started shooting at us. He made a U-turn to the other side while they were shooting at us. He returned to the field and his car got stuck in the sand while they were still shooting. We started running, and the guy who drove the car disappeared. Only me and the other guy remained. We kept running and he saw a pit. We climbed into the pit, held hands, and prayed. I told him: "You know the stories from the Holocaust where people pretended to be dead, and that’s how they went unnoticed? That's what’s going to happen to us." He covered us with sand, and we were silent for about an hour until we started hearing footsteps approaching, and we prayed. They found us. Eight of them.

I closed my eyes because I thought they would shoot us, but they lifted us out of the hole, took our phones and everything we had in our pockets and said, "We have two more hostages." One of them started talking to me in Arabic and I told him I don’t understand him. I didn't shout, I didn't resist, I became apathetic. He put his jacket on me while everyone was looking at me like a piece of meat because I was wearing a tank top. He put a hat on my head, and took my hand. He was holding my hand with one hand and a missile in the other. We started walking. I saw that they were looking for things in the area like cigarettes and alcohol, so I helped them and found some for them. I didn't try to resist. I was frozen.

"They murdered him in front of my eyes"

The guy who was with me begged for his life and cried. I told him “Don’t cry, it annoys them, everything will be fine." At first, he listened to me. Some of them were holding knives, some hammers. He dropped to his knees and screamed again, cried, and begged for his life and then he didn't scream anymore. They murdered him in front of my eyes. I was left alone with them, one of them hit me with a wooden board every few seconds just to humiliate me, one of them held a knife and every few seconds approached me with it, but the terrorist holding my hand yelled at them and took me under his protection.

We keep walking, surrounded by hundreds of corpses, blood, and strewn body parts. We got to a car. I stood up straight and looked for the guy with the knife, to kill myself on it before they could load me into the car. The car did not start. We continued walking and the terrorist with the knife who had just murdered the guy who was with me told me, "if you try to run away I will kill you like I killed your friend". I remained standing and the terrorist who protected me said, “go." I started running, looked back and saw that they weren't pointing weapons at me, and I ran like crazy.

"Three hours in which I was lying among corpses trying to protect myself"

I hid under the stage, lay down next to three corpses. I took some of the blood that was dripping from the corpse next to me, smeared it over my face and lay as if I was dead for three hours that felt like a lifetime. Three hours with terrorists shooting everywhere, burning everything around me and with missiles above me, three hours in which I was lying among corpses trying to protect myself, three hours in which I thought that I was the only one left alive. Suddenly I heard Hebrew. I screamed for help. It was the army, and they took me to a trailer with paramedics and other survivors, but the shooting continued. I was surrounded by wounded and sights that I won't describe here.

They murdered my soul and I hope that I will be able to heal it one day. But they murdered my friend, my Liron, my hero, and no one will ever bring her back.

May H., 30.

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