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Survivor stories

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Another group of terrorists arrived - with a pickup truck to take us back in

  • Daniel C.'s story

I started having severe panic attacks. I couldn’t breath or stand on my feet


It has taken me a long time to reconstruct and write down our story. Yet even now, many details, which I occasionally remember and then forget, are still missing. Maybe that’s for the best.


Here is my story.

On Saturday 7 October, 6:30am we heard the red alert siren, got up in a panic and ran to the safe room together with Barak’s mother who stayed with us in the Kibbutz over the holiday. The children sleep in the safe room but woke up immediately as Barak noisily and swiftly closed the steel safe room window. Gaya was a little startled. She didn’t say anything, but I could see it in her eyes. Noam, seeing all of us, got up enthusiastically. We barely closed the safe room door. We were used to this, as we have been living in the Gaza envelope region for three years and we knew that in a short while everything would be back to normal, and we would go back to sleep.


"The terrorists entered our home. We heard noises of gunshots, Arabic, and a big mess."


But this time was different. Another red alert, and another and another. On the other side of the window we heard the sounds of very close gunshots, loud and frequent. Barak’s mother looked at us and said, “Infiltration?” I told her there’s no chance, it's not possible.

I was so certain at that moment.


kitchen window

A few minutes went by, and we heard them. Voices of men speaking Arabic. Needless to say I understood nothing, but Barak, who understands Arabic very well, realized we have a problem. A very serious problem. We went into the safe room taking only Barak’s cell phone. He immediately called our close neighbours and texted our family saying there were terrorists there. At the same time, we read in the Kibbutz’s whatsapp group that [the terrorists] were entering houses in our neighborhood, setting them on fire and shooting in every direction.


A burnt and destroyed house in the kibbutz


Barak’s mother held the door handle, as the door [to the safe room] doesn’t lock. Barak re-closed the window, which doesn’t lock. And me? I lost it. I started having severe panic attacks. I couldn’t breath or stand on my feet but I managed to calm down and play with Noam who was already going crazy with boredom, thirst and hunger. At this time the children were already lying on the floor with a cabinet shielding them from the window in case, God forbid, shots were fired through the window. At some point there was a power outage. It was pitch black, and our cell phone’s battery was only charged to 13%. Using the last bit of battery, I texted our best friend, begging him to call for help, and told him we were going to die. The phone died.

"The soldiers checked the house for any terrorist who might be hiding and evacuated us to somewhere safe."


The terrorists entered our home. We heard noises of gunshots, Arabic, and a big mess. I begged Barak’s mother to hold the door tight, and at the last minute, with divine providence, she managed to lock the door of the safe room. They tried to open it, but weren't able to. Luckily for us, they didn’t persist and left the house.


About 8 hours later, we heard “Is anyone there?” in Hebrew. Only after we were certain these were our soldiers we opened the door. Outside the door, four soldiers were waiting with they’re guns pointed at us. We shouted “Where have you been until now?” We were crying hysterically and crying but also immensely relieved. The soldiers checked the house for any terrorist who might be hiding and evacuated us to somewhere safe.



A soldier and civilians walk down a street


Now we are in Eilat with all of our incredible Kibbutz Nirim community. It will take us a long time to heal our emotional wounds, some of them may stay with us for the rest of our lives. But I know we will come out of this stronger and united.

We will prevail!


Daniel C.



Daniel C

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