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The terrorists were at our doorstep. I sat there with my son, petrified

  • Ariella R.'s story

The entire base was filled with the bodies of all my friends

They took my home.

My base went from being my second home to a cemetery.

From my safe place to my biggest nightmare.

6am - I wake up in the operations room from explosions that I have never heard in my entire life. The soldiers on shift start to yell that the base is breached from every direction.

Every artillery observer’s nightmare that we thought would never happen - happened.

I had to call everyone into the operations room since we knew they were going to infiltrate our base.

Filled with anxiety I called everyone.

At the same time, I went to the entrance of the operations room and I saw a rocket that landed 100 meters from me and the sky was filled with smoke.

All of a sudden they sniped all of our positions - we no longer have security cameras.

And that’s it, we can see that the terrorists are at our front gate.

"In my heart I was thinking that these were my final moments"

We all hide behind the computers with the wife and 8-month-old daughter of the deputy battalion commander, hearing explosions that no naval fighter has ever heard in his life and we have to pretend that everything is okay, so that the baby won’t be scared.

After several minutes - 200 terrorists at the front gate and the first burst of gunfire that killed our friend.

A soldier hides behind computers in a military base

In my heart I was thinking that these were my final moments, I couldn’t go to the bathroom so I peed on myself. Everyone was crying out and praying, Shema Israel (a Jewish ritual saying) and promising to keep the sabbath if we made it out alive - and the baby will not stop screaming.

Hours have passed by.

My friend Adi, the only who did not manage to make it to the operations room in 12 hours, who I was positive had been killed, suddenly got in touch.

And after 12 hours, hours that I can’t imagine and don’t want to imagine what she must have gone through, she was rescued by Unit 621 (Egoz).

Soldiers enter the operations room and protect it in case the room is infiltrated - and then one injured soldier enters the room, and another and another, each one worse off than the last - another killed and another one - I couldn’t recognize their faces due to how bad it was.

"It became incredibly hot, blood all over the floor, a murder scene that the world has never seen"

I distributed small sips of water between all the injured soldiers from the little water we had left and at some point the electricity went out - it became incredibly hot, blood all over the floor, a murder scene that the world has never seen, the scent of bodies, all those injured were passing out and I had to make sure they didn’t fall asleep, otherwise they would die.

All of a sudden, a good friend of mine covered with an exceptional amount of blood came in and started to hit me and scream that everyone is dead, I had to make him stop to keep the morale in the operations room as high as possible.

I put tourniquets on whoever I could, at the same time another injured friend came in and yelled that everyone died and that he couldn’t hear - 70 grenades were thrown at him, and miraculously he was alive.

A soldier stands on a floor covered in blood

"The entire base was filled with the bodies of all my friends"

We’re fortified in the small operations room and slowly the number of available soldiers dwindles, 7 soldiers in the entire company survived, the rest fell in battle.


It is incredibly dark in the operations room.

The terrorists have RPGs on the roof of the operations room, and we are begging to be rescued. I knew that if we weren’t rescued within the next few minutes, we would all die.

We hid under the closet, saying Shema Israel and crying, we knew that death was creeping closer. The smell of blood, of the burnt bombs, of sweat - a smell that will never leave me for the rest of my life. There I understood that as long as you’re alive, nothing else matters. Everything else is a bonus.

Suddenly, a good friend walks in safe and sound - there is no bigger relief than seeing that.

It’s 11 at night and Unit 621 has arrived, at 11:05 half of the unit is wiped out, hit by a mortar bomb - the loudest boom I’ve heard in my life.

The commander walks in and calms us down, promising that he will get us out alive.

11:34, we’re standing in two lines, as quiet as can be, just praying to god that they don’t discover us. We stepped outside - it was the longest walk of my life. 7 minutes. The entire base was filled with the bodies of all my friends, the synagogue was burned down, the entire base was turned upside down. And I’m just praying that we make it out alive.

Floor covered in blood

Share so that the whole world will know what those bastards did to us.

To the 51st Golani battalion - you saved my life - and I will be forever thankful to you and I will salute you every day for the rest of my life, as long as my heart is beating. You are true heroes. And to those who did not survive the battle - I wholeheartedly know that you fought until your last breath, I had the honor of knowing you - and I admire you.

To my friends in the operations room - I would not have survived without you, you are my sisters.

Continue praying for my friends.

Ariella R.

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