Rami Bar-Gil from Nirim recounts his family’s ordeal on Saturday 7 October

19 October 2023

“It all started at 6:30am on Saturday morning. My daughter was on her way home from a friend’s house when suddenly, an Improved Explosive Device (IED) landed next to her car. I raced over in my car to pick her up, but when I got to her we couldn’t leave the shelter she was in because of the rain of rockets pouring down. Then we heard gunshots and realised that there were terrorists on the kibbutz. After about two and a half hours, when it seemed quieter, I made the decision to go back home.

Once home, we ran to our shelter, breaking the handle of the door to our safe room (so that the terrorists wouldn’t be able to open the shelter from outside). We then heard a very loud explosion that shook the whole room - a missile had been fired at the house and a battle was happening behind our home.

Bar-Gil Family

At around 5pm, security forces arrived and rescued our family. It felt like the movie Armageddon - everything burned, dead bodies on the side of the road. At first, the residents were directed to a central emergency department in the kibbutz where we met with other neighbours who had also been besieged in their home.

We are currently staying in a hotel in Eilat and trying to figure out what’s next for us. How do we restore our lives, the kibbutz? We are a small agricultural community; our kibbutz has been almost completely destroyed. We will have to start all over while supporting the children, women and the older residents who have experienced a second Holocaust in their lifetimes. And we will need all of the Jewish people’s help to do this.”