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Three terrorists surrounded our car and started shooting. We all ducked immediately

  • Yuval B.'s story

The army saw me and shouted at me to identify myself

At 6:30 in the morning we woke up to the sound of the Red Alert siren. We immediately ran to the safe room and I closed the iron window. There was a blast so strong from the missiles falling outside that I felt I really had to protect myself and close the window with me on the other side of the wall and not be exposed. As they began to fall, Eliyah, the Military Security Officer [who is in charge of the Kibbutz's Rapid Response Squad], called me and told me to get my equipment and weapon immediately. Reading between the lines, and in my gut feelings, I understood that this is something beyond a missile attack, but it still wasn’t being said.   


“He sent a voice message, 'There are terrorists on the kibbutz, no one is to leave'. That was the moment that we understood what was happening. We became even more alert.”


Michael B., a friend from the Rapid Response Squad, saw terrorists running through his window and sent a voice message, “There are terrorists on the kibbutz, no one is to leave.” That was the moment that we understood what was happening. We became even more alert.



Yuval, Ofir and Tai B.

Yuval, Ofir and Tai B. (published on Ynet)

I already had my equipment, but this was the first time I was putting it on since I had gotten it a year ago. We demanded from the army to do a reserve day, so we could reset our weapons, shoot at the range, and do some kind of training. It didn’t happen. In the end, I fit my helmet, started to do dry runs with my weapon in the safe room, in front of Ofir and Tai, to bring back the instinct. I hadn’t done this for years.   


Eliyah went out and came across some terrorists face to face. He ran back, managed to disappear into his house and grab his equipment. He went into the bathroom where there was a small window that looked out onto the house opposite. He saw the neighbor’s car and the terrorists started to mess around with it, so he took them both out. Another two arrived and he eliminated them too. That was the beginning. 


“We realized that there was no army when we called them and they said, ‘Manage, do what you can.’ “


We realized that there was no army when we called them and they said, “Manage, do what you can.” Around 10:00 am we got to my house, to move Ofir and the boy [his son] to my parent’s house, which was 50 meters from us. Under fire and shooting we ran to their house, so they could be together. When we got to my parent’s house we saw ash on the ground, and everything felt warm. Only later did we understand that they had tried to burn down the house. 


We moved forward to the lower neighborhood and divided into two forces, until the encounters began. And that is what happened. We got to the last two houses, behind which there was an open area, then orchards and then the next kibbutz. We were exposed to dozens of terrorists who weren’t prepared for us. Still inside the kibbutz, we opened fire. We moved between locations, we swapped sides, changed positions, and eliminated many terrorists who also shot at us from outside the kibbutz. We couldn’t see all of them, the area was full of heat.


“Heavy fire began again, coming from every direction, and at that point I saw Ido get hit and fall “


I am not really clear why, (Eliyah the Military Security Officer decided to charge forward), because I saw dozens of terrorists behind a wall. But when he got to the wall, the terrorists started to throw grenades, one after the other. I shouted at him, “Right,” and then, “Left,” and he didn't hear me. I succeeded in eliminating one of the terrorists that threw a grenade. After a few minutes, Eliyah ran back to us. Everyone was thinking about the fact that we each have 5 magazines and with that we have to manage this battle. We spoke in shouts, that we will deploy between the houses. 


Heavy fire began again, coming from every direction, and at that point I saw Ido get hit and fall. I was in a tough spot, what should I do; a friend has fallen but I can’t put down my gun. Michael and I looked at each other, we understood that this was a situation where we can’t help him. We understood the hit. Then a kibbutz member ran out of the house and pulled Ido inside. We continued with the fight, and called for medical help.        


I tried to put it aside and focus on the battle, all while firing. Suddenly they shouted at me that they were flanking us, and we went out to counter them. The terrorists came from one side of the houses, me from the other, and I managed to eliminate them, from point blank range. Two were eliminated. We moved forward to more houses, while firing at the direction of the orchards, from where they were also shooting at us.  At that point there were only three of us in the Rapid Response Squad, spread out.


“I saw my mother through the hatch with the knife that I gave Ofir, ready to stab. My mother collapsed on the bed, crying”


( got to the family home to search for a cellphone). Everyone was in the safe room and everything was locked. I decided to go in through the living room window. There was a porcelain statue there and with all my equipment and weapon I knocked it on the floor and it made a big noise. I got to the door of the safe room and shouted to them, “It’s me, Yuval, open up,” and they didn't understand me. I touched the handle, and they were really holding it. I opened it just a crack and shouted to them that it was me, it’s Yuval. I saw my mother through the hatch with the knife that I gave Ofir, ready to stab. My mother collapsed on the bed crying, the boy was sleeping. He hadn’t experienced anything. It was a big breaking moment, where they understood that they [terrorists] were coming to kill them. I told them everything will be ok, that I am looking after them, that I am “on top of” them. I took a cellphone from my mother and went back to fight. 


 (In the evening hours) The army saw me and shouted at me to identify myself, I tried and it was not clearly understood while at battle. In the end they realized I was part of the Rapid Response Squad. It calmed down, but it was a stressful moment. While scanning the houses we understood that the neighbor who lives in the house next to us [Yuval and Ofir], Bernard Cohen, was murdered.   


The four terrorists that Eliyah eliminated at the beginning were the first force. They killed Ofir Erez, may he rest in peace, who was in his car. On the streets of the kibbutz we saw bags at many points, filled with explosive charges and weapons, and maps. We realized that we had eliminated them and destroyed their plans.  


Yuval B.


Credit: Ynet

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