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The people at the checkpoint looked strange, I thought I could spot them holding Kalashnikov rifles

  • Lior K.'s story

It turned out she saw terrorists at the neighbors' back porch

Today is Friday October 13th, so I’ll start with saying ‘Happy Birthday’ to my wife G. A few days ago we were very doubtful we would get to celebrate this day.  We are almost a week after the great miracle that happened to us and this is probably the longest and most open post I have ever written.

The bottom line is- We are fine, my mother is fine. We’re still alive.



A car with a broken left window


Let’s begin: Kibbutz Holit, the cursed Saturday of October 7th.

6:27 a.m. The "red alert" siren sounded and we ran to the safe room. I caught my breath and tried to close my eyes a little to continue dozing off. How naive. My wife went to the kitchen, she must have her morning Coke zero. When she returned she told us that we must go up to the attic even though missiles are flying overhead - later it turned out she saw terrorists at the neighbors' back porch. 


“It was 6:35 am and we were already on the roof. Phones were on silent mode. I told the kids to turn down the brightness on their phones and lie quietly on the "floor" of the attic”

We began the operation: I took a chair, brought the children up to the roof, the children were on the roof and I told them to lie down and be quiet. I turned off the air conditioners and lights and went up to the roof myself. My wife returned the chair to the kitchen. She gave me a bottle of water and a knife from the kitchen. My son and I pulled her up and closed the attic door. All that time - there were gunshots and explosions all around. In the kibbutz's WhatsApp group, messages began to circulate. It was 6:35 am and we were already on the roof. Phones were on silent mode. I told the kids to turn down the brightness on their phones and lie quietly on the "floor" of the attic.

6:54 am I sent my mom D. a "Where are you" message.  Mom lives 2 houses away from me. Until 10:25 am, she didn’t answer. She didn’t have reception in her safe room, but I was already thinking  to myself-’what will I tell the children? How can we continue from here?’ When she answers I can finally function again.


At that stage I already knew that there were dead and kidnapped people and I kept that information to myself. The children asked "what about the army and the police, why haven’t they come?” I lied to them, "They will come soon, just be quiet, everything will be fine."


All that time, people called and I hung up - sending messages only. Thoughts ran through my head. What is better? Should we have gone to the safe room or should we have gone up to the attic and then a missile could fall on us from above? I was texting with my good friend A.Z. who said that we did the right thing. The chances of missiles then were small because there were terrorists in the area.

At some point it got quiet, the terrorists left.  4:16 pm. I waited a minute and another minute and gently opened the door. Glancing down to grasp the situation - quiet. I jumped down from the roof into the house and filled 2 water bottles, went to the fridge quietly and took leftover food from dinner, a box of cigarettes and cookies for the kids. I threw everything up [into the attic] and pulled myself back to the roof. On the way I saw that the door to the balcony was completely broken and so was the window in H.'s room. At that point my iPhone was on 9%. I couldn’t charge it so I sent the last messages to the family - “I'm out of battery, if I don't answer, send messages to the children's phone only”. 


“The children asked what was burning and I lied to them again. I said that it was the smell of the exhaust of the tanks we heard just minutes ago, when I knew that the house of the neighbors across the street was on fire and they were locked in their safe room, while the terrorists were trying to break in”

The shootings and explosions didn’t stop and now there was also a burning smell. The children asked what was burning and I lied to them again. I said that it was the smell of the exhaust of the tanks we heard just minutes ago, when I knew that the house of the neighbors across the street was on fire and they were locked in their safe room, while the terrorists were trying to break in. Our neighbors were eventually rescued by the army. Not at the last minute, but just about.





At 4:44 pm we heard call outs from the army outside. We didn’t answer. We have already heard that the terrorists were impersonating the IDF. I needed to hear them calling my name. They were just at my mother's house and rescued her safely and she told them we were in the attic. We came down from the attic and I took a few pictures of (the relatively low) damage.  Pictures of broken windows and broken glass on the floor. I've been barefoot since morning and I stepped on the glass, it didn’t bother me. The soldiers said from now on to stay in the safe room and not go up to the roof. They started talking about evacuation. We already knew what to do and we gathered phones, chargers, laptops, wallets and another set of clothes for each one of our family members. All of us turned black from the dust on the roof.

“They took a box of chewing gum. At least they died with a good taste in their mouths - these bastards.”

At 7:40 pm we got permission to drive with our cars and not wait for the army to take us. I ran outside to check the car - to see if anything was left of it. They broke my front windows and were looking for something to steal from the car, there was nothing there. They took a box of chewing gum. At least they died with a good taste in their mouths - these bastards. I decided not to take the car in case it was booby-trapped.


I sent a message to the neighbor who also needed to evacuate but couldn’t drive in the dark - “I don't know where your car is, go check if it's ok, I'll drive us out of here.” After 10 minutes that seemed like an eternity he answered that everything was fine and he was ready. We left the house with fear. The cat ran out. It turned out she was in the house all that time. I hope she will be okay. There was food in her bowl and she could enter through the broken window.


We started our journey. The roads were full of burnt cars and other things that you must have seen in pictures on the internet. I told the kids to keep their heads down and not look. I was driving and the focus was 2 meters ahead on the road, just to make sure there was nothing in our way, and that we didn’t get a flat tire. We arrived at Kibbutz Gvulot. The tension dropped. We entered the dining room and were greeted by the angels from the Kibbutz with a sweet drink to give us some sugar. I was looking for my mom, that was the most important thing that moment!


When I found her, mom told me the bad news. The names I already knew and those whose safety I was very worried about. Only then did we begin to understand the magnitude of the disaster and began to hear stories from the neighbors.


This story still has no end. I hope that the end will be as good as possible, that we can return to the house and restore our home, the kibbutz, the local council.

If you made it this far, thanks for reading. Sending condolences to the families of the brave dead and a speedy and full recovery to the wounded.


Lior K.


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