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I realized that if we stayed there, we would die

  • Adele R.'s story

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

My name is Adele R.

I'm 68 years old and I live on Kibbutz Nirim, which is two kilometers from the border [with Gaza]. 


On Saturday, October 7th, 2023, at 6:30 in the morning, we started coming under a heavy rocket barrage. We're so close to the border that we have between 0 to 10 seconds to get to a safe place on time. Meaning from the minute we hear that red alert siren until the minute it [a rocket] explodes, we have 0 to 10 seconds. 


We ran to the safe room. After about 15 minutes, we were given notification that terrorists had infiltrated our kibbutz. 

We were told to lock all doors and windows and close the shutters and to lock ourselves in the safe room.


I was there with my 33 year old son, and it was terrifying.

I've lived in Kibbutz Nirim since 1975, and  I've never felt that kind of fear. 

I've never feared for my life like I did on that Saturday.


We started getting messages on our internal messaging group, hearing frantic calls for help. People saying that their houses were being set on fire, that there were shots, that they heard Arabic outside. The terrorists were at our doorstep. I sat there with my son, petrified.


We couldn't go out. We weren't allowed to leave the safe room. We didn't have water. We didn't have a bathroom. At one point, my son, who understands a little bit Arabic, heard someone saying, ‘No, go away from there’ or ‘move away’ or something like that.


“Our safe rooms were built for rocket fire, not to protect us from infiltration, and they do not lock from the inside”


My son all that time was sitting by the safe room door, holding onto the handle to keep it locked, because our safe rooms were built for rocket fire, not to protect us from infiltration, and they do not lock from the inside. After about an hour I had to go to the bathroom, so I opened up the door quietly and left the safe room, and saw that the slats of my window had been broken.


In other words, terrorists tried to infiltrate my house as well.

For some reason, they moved on. 

What we found out later is that there were about 50 terrorists that rampaged through the kibbutz. They burnt houses. They riddled cars with bullets. They burnt cars. They slashed tires. They went into houses. They stole things from houses. 





My three grandchildren were in the safe room and thank God their father had a gun. 

He shot the terrorists that infiltrated his home and would have killed my grandchildren. 

Our small team of first responders fought very, very bravely. They did what they could trying to save whoever they could until the army arrived.


“They discovered that there were people that had been abducted, disappeared. There were people that were murdered in their houses.”


It took until 1:30PM, I believe, for the army to get to us. And even after they got to us, they had to go through the kibbutz fighting, killing terrorists, making sure that everybody was safe as much as possible. They discovered that there were people that had been abducted, disappeared. There were people that were murdered in their houses.



Adele R. with IDF soldiers

Selfie outside my house while being evacuated from house to community center in Nirim (under fire)




While we were being evacuated to the community center, there was a siren


I'm currently in Eilat. I don't know how long we're going to be here. Nobody knows how long this is going to take and nobody knows when we're going to be able to get home. 

Nobody knows what we're going to find when we get home. 


The barbarity of those monsters is inconceivable. 

The world needs to understand what we are up against.

These are not human beings.


Hamas are the Nazis of 2023.

Hamas are ISIS. 


We have a very strong community, and I'm hoping and praying that we will be strong enough to be able to rebuild what needs to be rebuilt in our homes, because there are people who, when this is over, are not going to have homes to go back to.

Their possessions have all been burnt, all been destroyed.

Their houses are shells. Burnt out shells.


Adele R.

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