The Iron Lions

Testimonials from the war in israel, Oct 23'

Yam Sinay

Nova Festival

Saturday night, we go out to the rave.

My group split up. My friend and I, and Almog a few meters from us by the massage station. Suddenly we heard a strange noise, and saw fireworks in the air. No one understood what was happening. Some ignored it and kept dancing. The music kept playing.

All at once, everything brightens, the music stops, and the crowd is asked to evacuate. A million people running toward the exit. I start screaming my guts out, trying to find my friend Almog. People ran toward me, and I ran inside the festival to find my friend.

After 10 minutes of hell we found each other. People ran toward their cars and started to drive. Our parents called us, not knowing we were there. Very quickly they found out where we were.

We were joking a little, saying let’s go home to eat chocolate and calm ourselves from the ordeal. Suddenly we hear people screaming at us to get out of the car. We leave everything in the car, phone, keys, shoes, and start to run and hide.

After 10 minutes people start approaching the police officers. We hear gunfire and screams “they are shooting at us, run!”.

The police officers were terrorists in disguise. We see people dropping off one by one. They keep shooting at us without stopping. During the first five minutes of running my shoes fall off, I continue barefoot. Every step was torture, but people helped me to get up and told me not to stop, not to quit. In my head I am thinking that my life is over if I can’t take another step. I tell the person next to me to go on and not wait for me. It was a miracle that I was with the best possible people I could ask for. They didn’t let me give up. After 10 more minutes of running through a thorn field, I felt the end was near again. They are behind us, shooting in our direction. I cannot continue, hearing screams. Falling and getting up, falling and getting up. I took Almog’s phone and started filming a goodbye video for my family. Five more minutes of running, we lose sight of the terrorists. We decided we had to hide and hope they don’t find us. We lay down, behind some shrubbery. In front of us is open terrain. We don’t have any way to move or hide anymore. We hear them behind us. The gunfire doesn’t stop. From here on end just prayers. Almog calmly sent her parents our location, and they made sure to take it to anyone who could help.

They tell us: “they are coming for you”. We have our hopes back. We say in ten minutes this is all behind us. Half an hour, hour, hour and a half, two hours pass. No one comes. No one manages to trace us. We are in a war zone so no one is allowed near.

I call the police and wait long minutes until someone answers. Suddenly they answer. I tell them to come and save us. I beg them, and the call ends. Another hour. We are in the blistering sun, no water or shelter. We hear noises, and notice that the terrorists are behind us. We are hidden by just a few branches, holding hands as hard as we can and praying.

A few minutes pass and the terrorist is on the right, walking next to us dressed in black. Tears don’t stop running.

He didn’t see us, we were saved. We wait another hour and the rockets are already part of the view.

During the sixth hour we already had headaches and nausea from the heat of the sun. After a while we hear a car coming from the direction in front of us. We didn’t know if it was people trying to save us or terrorists.

They scream something vague that we don’t understand, and we don’t move. After the third scream I understand what they are shouting: “Yam, Yam, Almog!” We sprint while the gunfire is behind us. We don’t look back, get into the car and don’t understand what happened.

The car picks up 16 other people in the same situation as us. They are dusty, sweaty and injured.