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

  • Shani L.'s story

The terrorist didn’t know who to shoot first. He shot at me and luckily hit my bum

Now I can tell my story. It’s been over a month since the dark Saturday.


We arrived at the rave at 06:00 am. The three of us: me, my friend Ayala, and her husband Ilan. I spent the night at their place. We drove to the party together. We got there and started unloading all the gear we brought.


06:28

Ilan said to Ayala: “Come to the dance floor with me.”

That instant I heard loud explosions. I thought these were fireworks, sound effects, part of the rave. A few seconds later we realized they were rockets. We just got to the party.


06:35

We took our things and started walking towards the car. As we got into the car and left the parking lot, headed to the main road, we said to ourselves: well, they have rockets here all the time, we’re in the Gaza surrounding area, let’s go home, all good.


We were driving for about 20 minutes when we started seeing people getting out of their cars and walking into a Migunit [small, concrete roadside shelter] by the road. We did the same, pulled over, and got in because of the rockets. Someone who was in that Migunit with us started yelling: “Terrorist breach! Get in the cars!”

We didn’t understand what was going on. Ayala and I looked at each other, clueless, while Ilan shouted: “Get in the car now!”


“The terrorists blew our tires, and we couldn’t go on. For minutes, we kept going on flats.”


A few seconds later there were terrorists behind us, shooting at us!

Ayala and I bent our heads down so they didn’t hit us, and Ilan bent down too while driving. “Give me your hand,” I said to Ayala. We held on to each other. “Shema Yisrael” [Jewish prayer said in moments of great anxiety] I prayed, hoping to stay alive. The terrorists blew our tires, and we couldn’t go on. For minutes, we kept going on flats.


07:40

Ilan stopped the car at the entrance to the village of Yechini and told us to run to the Migunit at the entrance of the village. Ayala and I ran like crazy. Two civilians from the village were standing there. We told them that terrorists were shooting at us. They didn’t get it - “What do you mean? Shooting rockets?”


“They caught Ilan inside the Migunit [...] He kissed Ayala on her forehead right before the damn terrorists took him”


Then, they went online and realized that there was a terrorist breach. One of them said to Ilan: “Get them some water from the car,” and Ilan did. As he opened the trunk, we heard shots, and we saw the terrorists behind him, armed, in their white pick-up truck, shooting. Ilan ran back to the Migunit, and the terrorists drove into the village. They caught Ilan inside the Migunit. He came to tell us: “Don’t worry, you’re in a safe place now.” He kissed Ayala on her forehead right before the damn terrorists took him, and he said to her: “You’re going to be fine.”


That was the last time we ever saw Ilan.

[Ilan Avraham was later found murdered]


Shani L. near to Ilan Avraham who was later found murdered

(Me and Ilan Avraham, R.I.P)


Ayala and I were in the shelter. Terrorists walked in with their weapons drawn. They yelled at us in Arabic, trying to scare us.

A terrorist took Ayala’s phone, and as he was reaching for it, I thought, no way I was giving mine up. I hid it in my pants, hoping they weren’t about to search me right there. The terrorist wanted to take my phone as well. I told him: “Fish masari,” in Arabic. [Meaning] “no money,” in Hebrew.

He started yelling at me.


“At that moment, Ayala and I ran. I turned left, and she turned right. The terrorist didn’t know who to shoot first"


Ayala and I tried to start moving towards the village gate. The terrorist hit Ayala with the butt and shoved me hard. I almost fell.

At that moment, Ayala and I ran. I turned left, and she turned right. The terrorist didn’t know who to shoot first. He shot at me and luckily hit my bum, missing major blood vessels and hitting nowhere else.





There was a lot of blood. Ayala told me to tie my white cardigan over the wound. We made a tourniquet out of it.

I got into the trunk of the car and helped Ayala in with me.

Shots were blazing around us. We were on a battlefield. Ayala and I, in the trunk, smelling gunpowder, listening to the bullets whistling above us. We left the trunk slightly open to see what was going on outside. Ayala said that she could see our soldiers.

I was terrified, thinking they were terrorists in soldier uniforms. I couldn’t tell.


It was a miracle. They were our soldiers. They came to us and saved us. They told us to run and get into their car.. We ran on the main road.


The soldiers went into the village to terminate the terrorists.

I lay on the pavement, calling an ambulance, asking them: “Come now! I was shot, and more people were shot, send an ambulance out here now, there are people wounded.”

I waited in the soldiers’ car. Ayala was in another car, right behind me. A Border Control officer was in the car with her, also shot.

The other car moved my way, calling: “Shani, come quickly, we’re going to Soroka [hospital]!”


We drove to Soroka. The driver was a woman soldier from Border Control, going 180 km/h until we saw an ambulance and asked them to pull over.

They put me on a gurney and gave Ayala a helmet, so bullets don’t hurt her, and they took us to Soroka.


Shani L.


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