This harrowing and shocking post is from a good friend of mine, and fellow Tour Guide, Ralph Lewinsohn, who made aliyah from Namibia and has raised two generations of family on Kibbutz Kfar Aza next to the border with Gaza. Thank God, he and his family are safe now, unlike many other members of his kibbutz, who they couldn’t even bury. Cry the beloved country!
Hell on Earth
“6.30 Saturday morning it started with a not uncommon severe barrage of rockets on the Israeli communities on the border with Gaza. At the same time hundreds of heavily armed terrorists broke through the border and attacked numerous civilian communities. After 36 hours, there are seven hundred dead and more than a thousand wounded in Israel. Most of the civilians, men women and children, barricaded themselves in their bomb shelters. The terrorists went door to door and murdered and took hostages back to Gaza, including whole families with children. We saw them running outside our house, dressed in black, shooting nonstop. In my small kibbutz, there were tens of dead and abducted.
Our emergency response volunteers, where nearly all murdered, abducted or wounded. Many homes were occupied, and families held hostage. A good friend’s daughter, husband and baby were murdered in front of their two older children, who hid in the cupboard, and called their grandmother who was overseas. The only way to give support to the two kids was for a social worker to be on the line with them for many hours, as they were in the room with the bodies of their family, until the army managed to get to them. No ambulances could get through, those that tried, the paramedics were killed, and the ambulances hijacked to Gaza.
My daughter who lives on a different part of the kibbutz, was without electricity for about 18 hours, cellphone battery ran out, so we had no contact with her, for about 12 hours, fearing for her life. She was eventually extracted by the army and is now safe. My son and family, again in another area of the kibbutz, was finally extracted by the army and taken to safety as well, after almost 24 hours of hell.
We were in our bomb shelter all the time, surrounded by constant shooting and explosions, very bad internet connection, no phone reception and some without electricity for about 18 hours. Eventually army units entered all the homes to extract the families and kill the terrorists. With me, they broke into the house through a window. A moment of great fear, when you don’t know if they are soldiers or terrorists.
The collected us in small groups, and under heavy guard, led us to buses, which eventually evacuated us out of the war zone. There was constant heavy fire around us, and we had to take cover in a bunker for a while. On the way to the buses, we passed tens of burnt-out vehicles, bodies lying in the street, RPG launchers, AK47 rifles, grenades etc.
Now we are in Eilat for a few days, trying to catch our breath and lower the level of trauma. My wife, son, daughter and three grandchildren all managed to get out alive, which is unbelievable. Most were not that fortunate. There are still pockets of terrorists in the area, and the kibbutz is deserted. We can’t even bury our dead.
As African born, the wilds of Africa have taught me many things. One lesson is that an injured beast is much more dangerous that an injured beast. Israel is now an injured beast!”