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קו ראשון
קו ראשון
Re'im Parking Lot
7.10.23, 3:30

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פורסם על ידי רותם יעקובי בתאריך 22/10/23 ב"פייסבוק"

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War Story

Photos by אביב אברג'ל

Yes, that's me there with the hat. I've been thinking a lot about whether to write something, because the pain is too great to describe, my heart is broken, and life will not be the same without so many people I love who are no longer with me. Let me begin by saying I'm "okay". My heart will be whole again when I get my friends back, and the question "where are they?" is answered. My story begins at sunrise, when my friend lifted me on her shoulders, and suddenly we started seeing rockets and hearing interceptions by Iron Dome. The music was stopped and friends told me that it wasn't a joke or a dream, that there was really a code red and we need to lie on the floor. I remember that at this point we still told ourselves that everything will be fine, the music will come back on. I thought I was a hero, and we "walked" back to our tents and started folding everything up. Eventually, the picture becomes clearer and we realize that bombs are raining down on us, and we need to run. I experience an anxiety attack on the way to the car. My knees are shut down, my body locks, and I can't breathe. Fortunately, my friends were around me the whole time, and they helped bring me back to reality. At this stage we are getting reports that there are terrorists outside the party, and anyone trying to leave is being shot. People started running, cars kept going, and no one really understood what was going on. The police are saying that the place was surrounded by terrorists and the army, so it's best not to go out. We hear gunshots, but we are still under the impression that it is the army. No one yet understands what's going on. We go back to the party area, and I'm taken to where the police, who were securing the event, are barricaded. A Magav soldier named Yamit, who I meet there, promises me everything is going to be okay I call my mother to tell her I love her and that I don't know if I will survive this or not. After a few minutes we hear screams that the terrorists have penetrated, screams of people being injured by gunshots, people falling left and right, and then the nightmare begins. I start to see bullets and hear them hit around me, everywhere, all the time. A game of hide and seek started between us and the terrorists. They created a bottleneck and just shot from all directions, so we couldn't see them and couldn't understand from where were shooting from, I could only see people falling. I don’t have the words to describe the fear, the helplessness, the realization that my life is ending here. One of the most frustrating things was watching the same "cleaning workers" with yellow vests continue to clean the party. They walked among us as if they were on their way to the supermarket, and I think they from the beginning what was going to happen. We first hid in the tents, then tried to think of other places to run away, and then ran towards the car. I got in the car with Kate, Lina and another guy who asked to join us because he didn’t have another way out. As we started the driving, we looked for other vehicles, "we were among the last ones in the parking lot". In retrospect, we'll understand why. We stuck close a black car, which lead us into a squad of terrorists on ATVs, and Kate managed to U-turn us back around while a pick-up truck threw a bomb out the window. After we managed to get onto another dirt road, we began getting shot at us from all directions, even while we were driving. Our aim was to get on the highway. At the intersection, we turned right and went toward Route 232, which is the exit where the terrorists sprayed everyone leaving the party with bullets. We saw all the bodies in the vehicles and the bodies on the floor, and we had no choice but to run them over as we ran for our lives. Further down the road, we saw that the terrorists had created a blockade and Kate broke right and took us off road. We almost overturned twice, but thanks to Kate's driving, we were saved. We realized that the vehicle was totaled but that we were alive and that not a single bullet hit us, only the wheels and the body of the car. We left the vehicle and we hid for seven hours in a thorn bush with half a bottle of water. For seven hours we heard the bullet whistles, saw the hits in the sand, the bombs, and the rockets. For seven hours we were trapped on a battlefield, located between Be'eri and Ra'im. We called the police, every possible rescue force, but they hung up in our face. No rescue forces came, no one heard us. Later they told us that the General Security Services knew the where we were, but it was surrounded by terrorists, so getting close was impossible. The Arabs found us after four and a half hours, they were armed, so the guy with us immediately stood up and went to them so that we wouldn't be seen. As he spoke to them in Arabic, they asked for our cigarettes and water, and they left. After two minutes we heard the car start and drive away - they had stolen it. After seven hours of lying there dehydrated, scared, and praying to God that someone would come, a guy named Elad Laufer called Kate's phone. I picked up the phone and I cried to him that I was begging him to comoe, I have never in my life begged like. He told me to stay on the line and that he was on his way. While the whole area was still crawling with terrorists, he got us out of there with his van and another guy whose name I do not know. He gave us water, told us to keep our heads down and not look outside, not to look at the bodies. He dropped us off at the assembly grounds, where they took us by bus to Be'er Sheva, where my father was waiting for me. That's the end of the story.

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