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Survivor stories

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They went from house to house. Tormenting. Butchering. Slaughtering. Looting. Torching. Kidnapping

  • Hadar-or E.'s story

Nobody guessed that what would happen would destroy our lives

We were all so excited for the party. I got there in the evening and handed out bracelets at the entrance to all the party-goers. I scanned their cards with their names on them, I knew each and every one of them, and told them all to have fun and take care of themselves. I didn’t mean to take care of themselves from terrorists!

At 6:00 I finished working at the entrance and went into the party for the first time. A friend took me to an area where I could put down my bag and things, and as we got closer to the dance area, we heard booms. I thought it was from the music and then I realized there were fireworks in the sky, explosions, and in a second I understood that they were missiles.

The music stopped and someone said over the microphone, “Red Alert”. A friend saw me standing there in shock and pulled me with him to search for our friends. We got to the area with all the cars and made the decision (a very difficult and wrong one, looking back) not to leave right away, as we were afraid there would be another siren while we were driving, and we would panic.

"I called the friends who had managed to get out on time and begged them to get me out of the parking area"

Nobody guessed that what was about to happen would destroy our lives. After a few minutes, security guards arrived and shouted at us hysterically to get into the car and get away. I got a message in a [Whatsapp] group for the Nova organizers that there was shooting and it wasn’t clear where it was coming from. And this is where the story of our insane escape begins.

I called the friends who had managed to get out on time and begged them to get me out of the parking area. I drove just a few meters in the direction of the field, according to the instructions from the police, on the grounds that it was an escape route that doesn’t cross the main road.

Some friends called me and yelled at me to run away, because their car had been shot at. Others told me to keep driving. I drove alone in my car, completely helpless, one of the first cars leading the convoy into the field. After a few terrified minutes of driving, I saw a friend do a U-turn and start driving in the opposite direction. “What happened?” I shouted, and he shouted back, “There are terrorists. Turn around.” (Shahar, my first angel).

I turned around, many others also turned, the first few didn’t manage to turn in time, and were hit by a volley of shooting. I was in trouble from both sides and made the split-second decision to leave the car. I took my phone and a small bag and decided to escape in the direction of the orchards.

"We were a flock of sheep and the slaughter began. I saw them falling next to me, shouting next to me"

We were a flock of sheep and the slaughter began. I saw them falling next to me, shouting next to me, crying hysterically and calling their friends’ names. I ran for my life, made a video with a friend and told her, “Tal, I’m not kidding. They’re shooting at me, save me.” I helped someone who started throwing up. I shouted at him, “Get a hold of yourself and keep running.” We got to the edge of the orchards, rows and rows of plantations, hundreds of people shouting hysterically and running. I didn’t understand where the shots were coming from.

I looked in the direction of the people and suddenly felt something in my leg. I swear I shouted, “There are landmines!” I didn’t understand what had happened. People looked at me and started running in even more of a panic, and then I realized, they f*cking shot me.

"My parents are f*cking unaware that I’m here and there’s no way I am dying on them."

I shouted for help and someone took off his shirt to tie a tourniquet on my leg. (My second angel, I haven’t found him yet.)

I lay down by a car that was in the field and shouted to God to help me get out of there. I sat alone for about 10 minutes, completely silent, hearing a volley of shooting, shaking, sending messages, “They shot me, save me,” with my location. But I couldn’t speak on the phone because I was afraid I would make noise and they would kill me. I quickly realized that there was no one who could come and save me, and I decided to save myself. I got up, exhausted and with blood running down my leg, and decided to do everything to get out of there.

I shouted to people far away to help me. A few guys lifted me up and helped me hide under a tree. (My third angels, who I haven’t found yet.) We saw policemen and shouted at them to help us. They stopped a car that was driving in the field and shouted at the driver (Bar, my fourth angel) to take me to the main road. I acted with 100% composure. This is my life, my parents are f*cking unaware that I’m here and there’s no way I am dying on them.

We got into the car, were on the phone with Magen David Adom [Israel’s ambulance service] and tried to meet them, but it was hopeless. In the end, we managed to meet up with some soldiers and went to a clinic in Tze'elim where there were a lot of gunshot victims. The nurse took off the tourniquet, called my mother, and told her, “Your daughter has five pieces of shrapnel in her leg. She’ll be ok.”

After an hour, they took me to the bathroom. I stood up for the first time in hours and then it happened. There were drops of blood on the floor, and I turned around and realized that I have a hole in the back of my leg. I went out and shouted, “I’m bleeding, I was shot.” An army doctor ran to me and realized that no one had turned me over to see if I had any other wounds. From one side to the other there was an entry and exit wound.

Within 10 minutes, a military evacuation vehicle arrived and took me to Soroka urgently.

On the way they called my mother and my angel (Yosef, angel number 5) let her know that it was a bullet wound. We got to Soroka and the craziness started, shouting, journalists, cameras. They quickly got me into the trauma room, hooked me up to the machines, injections, I was crying hysterically, they put me under and that’s it, I don’t remember much more.

Hadar-Or E on a hospital bed with a catheter in her  vein

"My soul is broken! They slaughtered us! My eyes can’t believe what they saw"

All this time, my parents were at home with no ability to communicate with me or get to me. Yosef was with me from the first moment in the car and in Tze'elim, until the moment I woke up in the recovery room. My father managed to get me out of Soroka that night and finally took me home to hug my mother and brother. In the morning I went back to the hospital for another check-up and x-rays. The doctors said that my leg won’t ever be the same, but I am a medical miracle. Everything that happened to me is a string of miracles; the place where the bullet entered and exited, the tourniquet that saved my leg, the angels who saved me, and one God above all who watched over me.

My soul is broken! They slaughtered us! My eyes can’t believe what they saw and there are holes in my leg, but there are so many more in my heart!!! I beg you to save my friends, those who are missing and those who were kidnapped, you owe us that!

Hadar-or E.

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