Esther Marcus, a 59-year-old British-Israeli, recounted the horrifying scenes that unfolded during a Hamas attack on her kibbutz.
27 Hours of Terror
Holed up in a safe room in Alumim, just 2 miles from the Gaza border, she described the 27-hour ordeal her family endured.
Trained Civilians Defended Them
Speaking from a hotel in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv, she talked about the crucial role played by a group of trained civilians who defended their community.
The Trained Civilians Saved Their Lives
“We have our own group, men aged between 20 and 40, who have been specially trained to be a civilian army. They are the ones who saved our lives,” she said.
Everyone Needed to Be Completely Silent
As gunfire and rockets filled the air, Esther, her husband, adult children, and two babies struggled to remain quiet in the cramped safe room.
‘They Killed a Number of Terrorists’
Despite the harrowing circumstances, she praised the group of men who courageously confronted the terrorists, preventing an infiltration. “They killed a number of terrorists,” she recalled.
The Family Was Evacuated
The Israel Defense Forces eventually relieved the kibbutz’s makeshift defenders, and Marcus and her family were evacuated.
Everything Changed When They Went Out
However, the grim reality of the attack became apparent as they left the safe room.
The Horrific Scene on the Other Side
She learned that 17 Thai workers at the kibbutz had been killed by Hamas, describing it as “horrific.”
Her Sons Were Called for Duty
Tragedy struck her own community as well, with her son and son-in-law called up for reserve duty, and another son from a neighboring kibbutz feared missing or deceased.
The Tragic Stories Unfolding
Amid the terror, Marcus recounted stories of kidnapped children, witnesses to their parents’ shootings, and homes reduced to ashes.
‘I’ve Never Seen Anything Like This’
Despite the horror, she expressed gratitude for their survival and the sense of home they’ve found in Israel.
“We chose to live here and be a part of it here, and I recognize Israel is my home, but I’ve never seen anything like this.”
The Terror at a Music Festival
Another survivor, Noa Beer, shared her own tale of confronting a Hamas gunman during the Supernova festival.
The Event Was Under Attack
Beer, a 29-year-old UK native now residing in Tel Aviv, was attending the festival when militants stormed the event.
‘I Honestly Did Not Think I Was Going to Make it’
She vividly described the panic and instinct that guided her escape. “I honestly did not think I was going to make it,” she said.
They Barely Escaped
Beer, along with a DJ, swiftly left the area in a car from the VIP section, narrowly escaping.
They Saw Men in Black Vests
They encountered armed gunmen at a roadblock and quickly realized they were not Israeli soldiers due to their black vests.
Getting People to Safety
Amidst gunfire, they managed to rescue injured individuals and drove them to safety.
Numerous British-Israeli Citizens Affected
UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly acknowledged the involvement of British-Israeli dual nationals in the conflict, though precise numbers were difficult to ascertain due to the rapidly evolving situation.
Three Devastating Losses
Tragically, at least three Britons lost their lives, including Nathanel Young, a 20-year-old serving in the Israeli army, photographer Dan Darlington, and Bernard Cowan, a 57-year-old with close ties to Glasgow.
People Are Still Unaccounted For
Concerns continue to mount over missing individuals, such as Jake Marlowe and Dor Shafir, whose whereabouts remain uncertain amidst the ongoing turmoil.
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Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Alessandro de Leo. The people shown in the images are for illustrative purposes only, not the actual people featured in the story.