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

  • Ido S.'s story

They thought I was dead and tried to take my weapon

At around 7:00 AM, we were called in for code “purple rain”.

We got into the tanks and heard on the radio that a lot of terrorists were getting close to the fence. My tank and my commander’s tank headed over there. My commander headed for firing position no. 106, and my tank headed for the border fence in the direction of firing position no. 91.

At the fence, we ran into about 10-15 terrorists. We wiped them out with shells, and I ran one of them over.

After we wiped them out, dozens of terrorists started entering Israeli territory.

They shot anti-tank missiles at my tank.


Ido S. in uniform with a weapon

My tank commander, Shay L., was blown off of the tank and probably killed, my gunner Ariel E. stayed in the tank but seemed dead at the time, and my loader, Ofir T., was also blown off of the tank, and I thought he had died too.


The tank was catching fire in the back. It was filled with smoke. I opened up the driver’s own entry door (referred to as the “Driver’s shelf” in Hebrew) and began escaping with the tank while it was being shot at non-stop with anti-tank missiles.


“Ofir detected an army vehicle coming closer to us and signaled it to stop in order to help us. It stopped right next to us, and two terrorists came out”


I headed in the opposite direction, toward Israeli territory, and stopped on the way to check if my gunner was still alive; when I stopped, my loader Ofir T. called out my last name, and I realized that he was alive.


I quickly left the driver’s compartment and saw him lying on the turret, covered in burns from head to toe, and shell-shocked. I told him to go into the tank and checked on my gunner, who had a really weak pulse and was having trouble breathing. I tried to rescue him from the tank while my loader, Ofir T., was on the turret but then noticed that as I was pulling him, I was also pulling off his burnt skin.


Ofir T., who was on the turret, detected an army vehicle coming closer to us and signaled it to stop in order to help us. It stopped right next to us, and two terrorists came out..


My loader, Ofir T., jumped back into the tank and yelled at me that it was a terrorist. I quickly went back into the driver’s compartment, ran him over as well as the army vehicle, and drove away as quickly as possible. The second terrorist started shooting but didn’t hit us.


“A few minutes later, I saw the terrorists confidently surround my tank. I realized that the policemen were all dead, and so was my loader”


Eventually, after driving for a long time, we reached the area of Kibbutz Re’im, where there was a party called “Nova.” There, we saw a gunfight between terrorists and policemen; it seemed that the terrorists were winning.


We blocked the terrorists with our tank so that they wouldn’t hurt the policemen, and my loader, Ofir T., who was sort of shell-shocked, left the tank without his gun and went to the policemen.


A few minutes later, I saw the terrorists confidently surround the tank. I realized that the policemen were all dead, and so was my loader (I didn’t know for certain; I just couldn’t see any live soldiers or policemen).


I could see about 5-10 terrorists climbing onto my tank, and I stood there ready with my M16, directed at the commander’s area, which was the only point of entry into the tank.

Right there, I was able to see a terrorist, who found out that there was a soldier inside. He panicked and threw his weapon at me, and in response, I shot at him and wiped him out.

I then quickly got back into the driver’s compartment while they were throwing grenades into the tank, some of them went off while others didn’t. Lucky for me, I had already gotten into the driver’s compartment, which meant that I felt the aftershock and heard the explosions, but wasn’t harmed.


“I checked my gunner’s pulse again; this time, he didn’t have one and had stopped breathing.“


I drove away while running over terrorists and making a mess with the tank in order to throw them off of it. I ran over some abandoned cars and continued moving away from the area until the tank almost didn’t move. The back of the tank was up in flames. The tank then stopped.

I checked my gunner Ariel E.'s pulse again; this time, he didn’t have one and had stopped breathing.

I left the tank, realizing that I had no choice but to leave it in flames while there were terrorists on my tail.


I left with a helmet, a vest, and my gun. I met three civilians, one of them was shot in the chest and was probably dead, another one shot in his backside, and one more who wasn’t harmed. They were very stressed. We went inside their own car, and drove away with me in the driver’s seat (as far as I can remember, their names were Tsuri and Aviad). We drove for several minutes until we noticed we were surrounded.

At this point, Tsuri and I switched places since I had a gun and could use it if necessary. We stopped in the middle of the forest and hid under their car.


“They thought I was dead and tried to take my weapon. I struggled with the terrorists, who kept hitting me on the head with rocks."


After about 40 minutes, we heard a lot of Arabs yelling and a lot of shooting, and we played dead. About five unarmed terrorists headed in our direction.

They thought I was dead and tried to take my weapon. I shot and killed one of them, while struggling with the others who kept hitting me on the head with rocks. They broke my jaw, eye socket, cheek, nose, and teeth and cut me with a knife. Thanks to my helmet being on, they didn’t kill me; they only bruised me really bad. I used all my powers in order to hold them off, but they managed to get my weapon and tried shooting me with it, but for some reason couldn’t (I don’t know why).


I ran away and kept running for several minutes until I reached an area of bushes where a man and a woman were hiding (Batsheva M. and Elai M.).


I hid with them, all bruised up, for about 6 hours, while the terrorists searched the bushes and luckily didn’t find us.

During those 6 hours, my face started bleeding. The two helped me a lot and also spotted the rescue team when they arrived. They saved my life.


While I was being treated at Soroka Hospital, a civilian who was mildly injured by missile debris came up to me and asked me if I was the tank soldier who managed to distract the terrorists.

He told me I saved the lives of hundreds from the festival.


Ido S.

Tank Driver, 77 Brigade


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