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

  • Tzofiya M.'s story

The terrorists were near the house, I prayed that the kids would stay quiet

Our success story!!!

I will give thanks unto the Lord with my whole heart, in the council of the upright, and in the congregation. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth forever.

“Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who bestows kindness upon the culpable, for He has bestowed goodness to me.”

Miraculously, with great thanks to God, and great appreciation for protecting us and sending forces who came from who knows where.

We spent Simchat Torah at my sister and brother-in-law’s in Yakhini, a Moshav in the South. I didn’t think for a moment that we’d end up in such a situation and nightmare.

It started at 6am with insane booms. Within a few minutes we understood that it’s an insane barrage and we rushed ourselves and the kids to the bomb shelter.

At the same time we watched what’s going on on TV in order to understand what’s happening.

We realized that this wasn’t a normal barrage. In the meantime, my husband and brother-in-law went outside to see and understand what was happening and they heard a shooting barrage really close to the balcony. Within seconds they came into the shelter, locked the house, closed the doors, put refrigerators up against them and put the kids into the shelter, still asleep.

"We understood that terrorists had infiltrated the Moshav"

We started trying to understand what was going on, locked and trapped in the shelter. We understood that terrorists had infiltrated the Moshav. My brother-in-law and husband saw the terrorists. In the meantime, my brother-in-law started to point the security cameras around their house onto the terrorists. The terrorists were in the field near the house. The kids woke up. Shit what do we do? I plead for my life, I promise I’ll do anything, just please be quiet, we’re not allowed to talk… 6 hours in which we’re not allowed to talk because the terrorists are walking around the Moshav and the army hasn’t arrived yet.

The kids needed to pee. We found a jar for them to pee in. I put a diaper on the little ones and promised that when we got out of there they'd get a really big surprise.

We got messages from the Moshav telling us that the terrorists were still out there - to stay quiet and composed. We adults couldn’t talk among ourselves so that the kids would hear and understand what’s going on. The enemy’s news arrives and there are 5 Moshav residents dead, two of whom are from my brother-in-law’s family.

We continued to hole up in the shelter, barely talking to one another, barely passing on information about the horrors and nightmare happening outside.

My brother-in-law and husband took turns doing 24 hour shifts on the shelter door, to hold the handle because we were told that they can open shelter doors. Holding knives, they stood at the door and tried to make sure the kids wouldn’t understand what’s going on. We tried to distract them. Games, arts and crafts, whatever was in the shelter, trying to pass the time.

Tzofiya with her daughter

In the evening we were already told that the Moshav is free from terrorists, but to stay in the shelters. We left just to fetch some food and water and head right back into the shelter.

A night in the shelter, 11 people, in a 9-meter room, trying somehow to organize mattresses. We slept sitting down, folded up, anything just to be saved from this nightmare.

"I couldn’t handle it. I broke down, texting my friend that I had to get out of there!!"

We woke up in the morning to the news that there had been another infiltration overnight. We got scared again and I was paralyzed. I could barely get up from the bed. I only drank Coke Zero. I haven’t eaten since Saturday morning.

I wanted to go home. I felt like I couldn’t process this, couldn’t deal with the kids, nor the anxiety over what could happen. I texted my friend, our council’s security officer, a woman who gave me so much courage. I consulted with her about what’s going on outside and whether we should leave and run away from there. She gave me so much courage that I was convinced that we needed to drive away from there. No one agreed with me. They said that we’re not allowed, we should wait. The phone calls, the messages from family and friends who were worried about us. I couldn’t handle it. I broke down, texting my friend that I had to get out of there!!

At around 3pm I talked to my brother-in-law. I told him, “listen we’ve got to get out of here, I can’t stand this, the kids will have nightmares, I am beyond convinced that this is what needs to happen, let’s get out of here, we’ll pray on the way, yell, sing and run away from this nightmare.”

He decided that we would leave.

"We told people that we had escaped. That we escaped from this nightmare"

We started getting ready. Within half an hour everyone was in the cars. We didn’t let anyone know except the Tzachi Team so that they could inform the army not to shoot at us.

We left, shaking. No one says a word because of the stress. We passed the gate, saw the terrorists’ van, f*** them, passed burnt cars on the way, checkpoints. We drove like crazy. We reached the Beit Kama intersection and got onto Route 6. At that point we told people that we had escaped. That we escaped from this nightmare, that we escaped from the hell that the kids found themselves in.

Three hours later we got to the valley, heart rate returning to normal. We’re welcomed by friends from the Moshav, our bodies finally start to relax.

The kids are completely smooth and play gun games at home. Some of them don’t talk.

We ate, showered and headed to bed. Oh God, the little things.

We woke up the next morning and couldn’t believe what we just went through.

We start taking care of the kids, making sure they let out and process what they’ve been through.

May we see better days!!!

May the hostages and missing persons be found alive!

May the kids of the villages bordering Gaza live to see peace. We were in a shelter for just 48 hours and it was so traumatic, I don’t know how they manage it.

**Hope is the only thing stronger than fear**

May we see better days, quieter days, calmer days. May we wake up from this horrible nightmare that we’re all going through.

Good tidings to all Am Israel.

Tzofiya M.

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