The Iron Lions

Testimonials from the war in israel, Oct 23'

Shmulik Harel


In Kibbutz Kissufim, eight residents and another six Thai workers were murdered in a massacre on Saturday. Residents of Kissufim are now gathering forces to retell stories of the massacre. 

"Dozens of terrorists entered Kissufim and entered the houses. The terrorists shouted 'IDF IDF' outside, making us feel safe to let us leave. But most of the residents realized that something bad was happening," says Shmulik Harel, a resident. 

The terrorists executed his grandmother Gina Smiatich, a 90-year-old. They pulled her out of the Mamad (safe room) and shot her in the head. A few seconds prior, she told us that she was hiding in the Mamad (safe room) and that she was afraid," said the grandson.

The terrorists continued their killing spree. They arrived at the Zeke family's house – Itay, Eti and their 15-year-old son, Sagi – and asked the family to come out. The family refused to leave the sheltered room and it burned down. All the family members perished in the fire. 

"The terrorists entered the houses and sat down inside them and waited for several hours. They also continued to burn houses at the same time. A member heard calls from the elderly's carer, covered himself with a sheet, and rescued them from the fire," said Harel. "They destroyed the houses, looted, and destroyed everything that stood in their way." An 80-year-old adult and a couple in their forties are also known to have been abducted from Kissufim. 

"There are heroic battles of dairy farmers," they said today. "He came to feed the cows, as usual, but terrorists entered and killed him." 

Yesterday, an observer at the village’s lookout post told Ynet about the surprise attack by Hamas. Almost all of the observation team were shot and killed, she said. "We were in the shelter for fifteen minutes and the explosions didn't stop. My ears went deaf and my head was already dizzy. My body shook, and I could barely speak. I heard a call from the war room - 'There's a raid from everywhere.'”

“Everyone had been preparing for this raid their entire lives, but no one ever thought it would actually happen. After hanging up with my mother, I ran, hoping that a rocket wouldn't hit us and blow us up. It was so close, it sounded like it was falling next to me. We arrived at the war room and all the girls were shouting and crying. Most of the observation team had been shot at.”

"I couldn't find one of my friends and realized that she was left alone in the residence. She didn't answer me and there was no way to reach her. After begging them to tell us what was going on, they told us that terrorists had reached the base. Our friends who sat with us the night before came in with bullets and grenade shrapnel in their bodies and full of blood. The only thing that kept us going were prayers to God. " 

We were told that the terrorists were on the roof above us and that there were no more forces outside. We were left with seven fighters, and we were sure we would get out alive. One after another, the fighters entered, shouting that their entire team was gone, there were no more soldiers, and nobody could help. After begging to be evacuated, units started arriving, and we breathed a little more - they finally told us they were coming to rescue us. I will never forget those seven minutes until the bus arrived -- dead bodies they tried to hide from our eyes, gunshots in the background and darkness. As we headed towards the bus, we had to remain quiet, keep close to one another, and just run.”