The Iron Lions
Testimonials from the war in israel, Oct 23'
Adi Neve survived the inferno at the party in Re'im where hundreds of people were slaughtered at the start of the Hamas surprise attack. She recounts, "We laid on the ground and pretended we were dead, then the terrorists stepped on us and shot us to make sure we were dead."
"It was a miracle that when they shot at us, they only hit my hair and between my husband's legs. I saw dozens of people murdered and burned inside their cars. I was constantly worried about who would take care of our three small children and I prayed to my late mother to save us."
Adi, originally from Kfar Harutz, lives with her husband Itzik and their three children (10, 9, and 3) in Tel Mond. She went to a party with her husband and her younger brother, Yakir. Her older brother Aviram decided not to go last minute, while her sister Tohar was on her way to the party with her partner on Saturday morning. When they stopped to pick up a friend, they received a call about the shooting, so it’s better they don’t come.
"We went to the party at 2:00 am, and we arrived at 4:00 am," Adi recounts, crying and with a weak voice. “We were dancing and happy in the morning before half past six. We suddenly saw hundreds of rockets flying in the sky at about half past six. We understood the missiles were being fired from a distance by the smoke arc. When they turned off the music and told everyone to evacuate to the cars, we lay on the floor because thousands of missiles were flying overhead during the hysteria.”
"We ran away with the car. When we saw that they were shooting at us, we entered a field and there was a cemetery, where a van shot at us as well. On the road to Kibbutz Be'eri, they shot at all the cars, causing a massacre. I saw the firing squad and felt like a sitting duck. A bullet hit the car’s tire, causing it to explode. After tumbling into the ditch, we ran away from the car for about 20 meters and hid behind a bush.”
“My husband propped up a burnt tire and leaves for us to hide behind, and then we prayed. I turned my head to the road and saw everything. Three girls were kidnapped, put in vans, and one on a motorcycle. I saw how they made sure to kill people in cars, how they burned cars, cars with people inside. A teenager who looked like a child kept shooting with an Uzi rifle at everyone who fled.”
Adi continues, explaining how they pretended for hours that they were dead. "We played dead for four and a half hours, and a terrorist stepped on my head and shouted 'Allah Wakbar' before shooting and hitting my hair, but miraculously he didn’t hit me.”
“Hundreds of them shot my husband between the legs. Anyone who passed – they shot him. They shot at our bush, didn't hit, laughed, shouted 'Allah Wakbar' and didn't hit us again.”
"My face was on the ground, I ate sand and ants climbed on us. I am sure I lost consciousness and woke up several times because of the fear. As we hugged each other tightly, I said, "Shhh, shut up, don't breathe, they're here."
Adi adds: "I heard the army four and a half hours later. I heard something like 'Bitton, bitton', and I ran to them, along with my husband. They arrested and forced him to the ground because they thought he was a terrorist. I shouted to them that it was my husband, they took his ID card and finally released him. He didn't care, he told them 'take me, arrest me, the main thing is get me out of here'.
We were placed in a shelter for an hour with the soldiers, then an open military jeep took us away. We saw dead bodies all along the road. Despite not being injured, we continued to Barzilai Hospital and they dropped us off by an ambulance.
Adi talks about what she's been through since she was rescued: "I'm done, at home and on tranquilizers, I just want my sanity back. There is no such evil. I have never seen a horror movie like this before. I'm 39 years old, a mother of three children who could have been orphans. Who would have raised them?”
“My younger brother, Yakir, 30 years old, was also at the party. It was a matter of seconds, and I was sure he was murdered, but he managed to get past the terrorists through the fields. When everyone ran to the left, he ran to the right, and so his life was saved. When we lay in the bush I cried for my brother and I cried for who will take care of my little children, who may be orphans. I called my mother who passed away four years ago, 'help me'.”
“I left my phone in my car, and now its signal locates it in Gaza. I feel like a ghost in the house, like I'm dead. We should have died two hundred times, so I can't believe we survived.”
“The images of that day are stuck in my head: the teen who looked like a little boy, wearing a bulletproof vest and holding an Uzi, shooting at me and at the army. He was really a kid, he closed his eyes when he shot us. I saw a lot of people who were hit by the gunfire, we passed between the cars and saw bodies thrown out of the window."
According to Adi, "We are not heroes – whoever died there is a hero."