The Iron Lions
Testimonials from the war in israel, Oct 23'
“At six in the morning, the barrage hit Nahal Oz. Roni, two years old, and Alma, six months old, were sleeping in the rooms. Omri took them to the safe room (mamad), while we waited for it to subside. A moment of respite occurred, so I went to the bathroom, brought the girls Bamba and Meadan (food) and prepared a bottle."
Li-shai and Omri quickly realized this attack was different from the previous ones.
“We started receiving Whatsapp messages about terrorists in the houses, and requests for help. We initially thought people were being hysterical, but when we heard gunshots nearby, we knew it was serious.”
“It suddenly became quiet at half past ten, and we thought they had left, but we heard the shower window shatter, and they came in."
In the following few minutes, the Miran family tried to keep everyone calm, and the parents managed to keep Roni asleep. Li-Shai took two knives to the safe room (mamad) with him. A 16-year-old boy from the kibbutz, Tomer Araba-Eliaz, was brought with the terrorists. He asked us to open the door and told us that if we didn't, they would hurt him. We opened it."
In the next step, Li-Shai, Omri, and Alma went to the kitchen, leaving Roni sleeping in the safe room (mamad). We begged the terrorists to let us bring her, and Tomer took her. In the living room, we sat down. They almost killed us, and they then took us to another family who lived diagonally across the street. The parents and two children were there. Their daughter, 18-year-old, had been killed by terrorists in the safe room (mamad)."
In the neighbors' kitchen, two families were sitting on glass, and around 1:00 p.m., the terrorists brought two more women, American citizens: "One of them spoke English, she hoped that her American citizenship would help her." The terrorists handcuffed Omri and the father of the other family around 1:30 p.m. They went out and took the car keys, and three minutes later they drove away. "I told Omri four sentences: "I love you, I will look after the girls, we are waiting for you and don't be a hero." Roni, Li-shai says, tried to run towards him, shouting, "I want my father!".
The whole incident was filmed by the terrorists and broadcast live on Facebook through the family's personal pages. The army only arrived at 5:30 p.m., after leaving Li-shai and the neighbor at home alone with four children for four hours. As they waited for information about Omri's fate, Li-shai and the girls remained in Kibbutz Keramia. "Roni remembers more and more details every night," she explains. "She saw her father in handcuffs. She woke up with weapons drawn in front of her face. From her sleep she screams, "Good night, dad.". I want her to stop screaming, I want him here. I want to scream the cry of the kidnapped. Don’t forget us.".