Adele Raemer
Life on the Border with the Gaza Strip
Israel at War

I hear massive shooting. I have never been this scared in my life

'Terrorists still going through the kibbutz, trying to break in'...'If you are the praying type, this would be a great time'
Selfie in the safe-room, 1:18 pm, October  7, 2023
Selfie in the safe-room, 1:18 pm, October 7, 2023

Editor’s note: Adele Raemer hid throughout the day in a reinforced security room in her home on Kibbutz Nirim on the border with the Gaza Strip after Hamas terrorists infiltrated her community. Below are the updates she posted over the course of those terrifying hours.

6:33 am – Suddenly out of nowhere, massive barrage, non stop, along the border

7:26 am

8:12 am

8:53 am – There is apparently an infiltration in or near my community. We have been told to lock doors, not leave the saferoom. We’re not even turning in the AC for fear it will signal the presence of people in the house.
My stomach is turning. I hear much shooting, even through the thick walls of the saferoom. I need to go to the bathroom but dare not. I have literally never been this frightened

10:51 am – Still in lockdown, terrorists tried to break into my house. So far they haven’t succeeded

11:18 – Hearing massive machine gun fire. No idea if IDF are here yet. Everyone in lockdown

12:00 pm – Terribly thirsty but trying just to drink small sips so I don’t have to go to the bathroom.

12:10 pm – Terrorists still going through the kibbutz, trying to break in

12:55 pm – I appreciate everyone telling me to stay safe, showing that so many care, but with terrorists going house to house I honestly do not know how one does that.
If you are the praying type, this would be a great time.

1:18 pm – Still hunkered down in safe room, need bathroom but we’re not allowed out! Terrorists still in kibbutz

1:55 pm – Usually when there are escalations my TV is on 24/7. This time, it’s off. I’m on overload. Doing all I can to keep it together, with the updates I’m getting on my phone. I can only say that we are still in lockdown on Nirim because the terrorists are still out there. I’m scared, I’m thirsty ( no hunger- although I haven’t eaten anything and it almost 2 pm…. fear drives away the hunger. But I still need the bathroom.

Even when the army get here, they will have to go bush to bush, door to door, attic to attic -no corner must be left unturned to be sure they get them all.

It’s going to take a while.

Prayers are appreciated.

3:16 pm – We have been notified that help is imminent, but to remain locked in. (And I snuck out quickly to go to the bathroom)

4:54 – Still waiting to be evacuated. Hopefully will have time to grab my shoes and medications and purse. There are still terrorists outside, and community is being slowly moved to a safer place. We’re still locked in the saferoom

6:00 pm

I can’t type anymore. The army went house by house clearing out people and escorting us to a central safe place on the kibbutz. We are all here now, as you can hear lots of noise, and we are not at all sure what’s happening from here.

October 8, 1:32 am – No longer in my safe room, just my son and me, but still extremely frightening.

It’s after 1 am, we are still in the kibbutz, but with army protecting us. There are still terrorists inside the kibbutz (one of the soldiers were wounded in a firefight not long ago). The region is still overwhelmed with terrorists and it’s dangerous to travel.

I am exhausted, but doubt I’ll get any sleep tonight. I didn’t think of grabbing a sweater when I was evacuated from my house, so tonight’s look is a tablecloth I found in one of the cupboards where we are.

So I’m spending the night with the frightened humanity of my community. We are in a large common safe space, with toilets and garbage that are overflowing, surrounded by the smells of unwashed people (full disclosure: I am one of them, since the urine that escaped the overflowing diaper of my granddaughter who sat on my lap earlier, is today’s eau de cologne).

We hear the sounds of sporadic artillery and automatic fire outside, and every sudden scrape of a chair, makes us jump. But not complaining. Feeling safer than I did during the 8-odd hours in lockdown at home, when, at times I felt like Anne Frank hiding in the secret annex waiting for the Naxis to discover their hiding place.

We do not know what yet awaits us. We only know the losses and horrors we have experienced so far: a father and daughter murdered when the terrorists broke into their home. The people who are missing from our community. Those personal losses, together with the incomprehensible number of civilian and army casualties from elsewhere in the Gaza Envelope.

Please keep us in your hearts.

About the Author
Born in the USA, Adele has lived in a Kibbutz on the border with the Gaza Strip since 1975. She is a mother and a grandmother living and raising her family on the usually paradisaical, sometimes hellishly volatile border. She moderates a FB group named "Life on the Border". Adele recently retired after 38 years as a teacher of English as a Foreign Language, as well as a teacher trainer and counselor for the Israeli MoE for EFL and a Tech Integration Coach. She blogs here about both Life on the Border, as well as about digital pedagogy, in "Digitally yours, @dele". She is a YouTuber, mostly on the topic of digital stuff. ( Her personal channel covers other issues close to her heart (medical clowning, Life on the Border, etc.) ( In addition, she is a trained medical clown and, although on COVID hiatus, until allowed back into hospitals, she clowns as often as she can in the pediatric ward in the hospital in Ashkelon. As a result of her activity as an advocate for her region, she was included among the Ha'aretz "Ten Jewish Faces who made Waves in 2018" In November 2018 she was invited to Geneva by an independent investigative committee for the UN to bear witness to the border situation, and in December 2019 addressed the UN Security Council at the request of the US ambassador to the UN.
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