The Iron Lions

Testimonials from the war in israel, Oct 23'

Reut Karp


According to Reut Karp, “our older daughter spent the night with a friend in the nearby moshav Ein-Bashur on Friday. Daria and Lavi spent the weekend at Dvir’s,” while Reut stayed with a friend in Yehud. Around half past six in the morning, Reut woke up to what seemed like a typical Saturday. “We just went downstairs to go for a run when suddenly an alarm rang.”

“When we saw that there was rocket fire, we hurried home. We didn't stress too much. It's something we are accustomed to. The most important thing to me was that the children were safe. Dvir wrote to me that everything was fine in the safe room (mamad). I relaxed. I received a message from my eldest daughter, Leah, at eight o'clock. I hurried to call her, but she hung up. She wrote: 'Mom, I'm scared to death. There's a terrorist outside.' She sent me another message that said, 'Mom, I'm not allowed to talk. I need to be quiet.’”

“I understood from her that she is in the safe room (mamad) with her friend's family. I asked her to keep hiding there and tried to calm her down. I was terrified inside, of course. I took a screenshot of her message, and sent it to Dvir. To my surprise, Dvir told me that they had also been visited by terrorists. He wrote: ‘There is a big mess here. There has been heavy shooting in the kibbutz. My stomach still hurts.’”

“I asked: 'Gunshots?' He answered: 'Yes. That's how it sounds.' At this point, I realized that this wasn't just one terrorist's attack. We all heard messages very quickly about locking the doors, boarding up the windows, and darkening the houses within our kibbutz group. I wrote to Dvir that his eldest daughter was safe. In my message, I explained that Leah was safe, that I had spoken to her friend's mother and that she was reassuring her. But two minutes later, at 8:24, I received this message from his cell phone: ‘Mom, this is Daria. Father was murdered. Also Stav (Dvir's partner).Help us!.”

"I called Dvir's cell phone, and Daria answered. Dvir had an axe in the safe room (mamad). She told me in a whisper that the terrorists managed to get into their house and open the door to the police station. Despite trying to protect her and her brother with an axe, her father and his girlfriend were both killed by the terrorists when they attacked. She and her brother were then signaled to be quiet by the terrorists with their hands. They motioned for them to lower their heads, covered them with a blanket and left. Daria told me that ‘they had also written something in Arabic on the wall.’ It is hard to explain. I hope their father is still alive, and I know that I must be strong for them.”

“I hoped Dvir was still alive, maybe just injured. I wanted Daria to go over to him to see if he had a pulse, but I knew that wasn't allowed. I told her that there was supposed to be water in the toilet and for her to drink, but she said: 'Mom, I can't move. I still hear voices. I'm afraid they'll see me.' 'Lavi doesn't move or talk. I don't know if he's asleep or dead.'” As Reut pleaded for help, she reached out to rescue teams and sent messages.

In the kibbutz group, she continued her phone conversation for three hours with her daughter. It was her father's cell phone. “People who called Dvir were sure he was alive because they kept hearing a call waiting. In spite of the fact that the battery would soon run out, Daria told me I had to stay on the line with her constantly. I had to keep getting signs of life from her like this and calm her down.”

“In spite of the fact that I told her, ‘The IDF is on their way and will take you soon to a safe place,’ she kept arguing with me and telling me, ‘Mom, there is no one coming. Where is the IDF?’ Even in the kibbutz group, where I begged for assistance, they told me they were trying to help, but they were having trouble. The terrorists were all over the kibbutz areas, making it very difficult to reach the house. Meanwhile, Daria told me: ‘I'm hearing voices again at home. I am scared.’ I told her to remain quiet and not speak to anyone, since reports had already begun that the terrorists were impersonating soldiers. I knew it could be dangerous." 

“My friend from the kibbutz called three hours later. On his way home, my neighbor called me on video and put the children in front of me. The moment my son started talking, I realized that he was also fine. He started talking and didn't stop talking. My son showed and explained what the terrorists did to them. I made sure to calm the children, telling them that my neighbor had a gun and that he would watch over them. My friend stayed with them for long hours because it was still dangerous to go outside.”

“It was only nine hours later that the kibbutz emergency squad rescued Reut’s children. She was only reunited with them the next day. "During all this time, I was angry with myself for not being by their side," she remembers. The regret I feel is that I wasn't with them. I believe my children would be orphans today if I had been with them. In general, I believe there was some sort of superior oversight since my children could have been killed or kidnapped just as easily. However, they lost their father. They saw how he and his girlfriend were murdered before their eyes. The trauma they have experienced is one they will never forget, and my life and theirs will never return to what it used to be."