Palestinians break into the Israeli side of Israel-Gaza border fence after gunmen infiltrated areas of southern Israel.
Mohammed Fayq Abu Mostafa/Reuters
An Israeli woman who fled Hamas’ attack said she doesn’t know if she has somewhere to return to.
Danielle Biton, who lives on Kibbutz Karmita near the Gaza Strip in Israel, described her escape.
She described her journey to safety and freedom as “chaos.”
A young Israeli woman who fled her kibbutz as Hamas launched attacks on it described her journey to safety and said she is unsure if she will have a home to return to.
Danielle Biton, who lives on Kibbutz Karmita near the Gaza Strip in Israel, fled her home on the kibbutz on Saturday after Hamas began its deadly attack against Israel over the weekend. She described her experience getting to safety in a conversation on Instagram Live Monday with I24 News journalist Natasha Raquel Kirtchuk Gutman.
Biton described hearing Iron Dome bomb sirens starting around 5:00 a.m. that lasted about an hour. Biton said Israelis are “used to” hearing these alarms and said she didn’t grow too concerned until she stepped outside and heard shots from automatic weapons around her — an unfamiliar noise on both sides, she said on the Live.
“The noises were right next to us, so I told my friend that we have to leave because the M-16 guns are something we are not used to,” she told Kirtchuk Gutman.
Bilton said she and her friend grabbed what they could and decided to flee in their car, even if that meant fleeing to their death.
When they were on the run, they saw other civilians doing the same, some armed with guns, Biton said.
“It was chaos,” Biton said of the escape on Instagram. “Nobody knew who are the terrorists because some of them didn’t wear terrorist clothes, some of them didn’t have the stripe on their hands or something like that, so we couldn’t identify them. A lot of people stopped on the way out because they thought it was the IDF kind of stops, but it was terrorists who just killed everyone who stopped at the way out.”
After two to three hours, they finally got out, but they couldn’t reach Biton’s friend’s parents back at the kibbutz as the electricity and cell service were out. But Biton said she and her friend decided to go back to their kibbutz to try to rescue his parents.
“When we went back the things we saw on the way were horrifying,” Biton said on the Instagram Live. “When we tried to come back in the beginning the military didn’t want to give us this option because they said this is a closed territory and that our forces wouldn’t know how to recognize us so they might shoot us from our own side and we didn’t care we told them we have to go back.”
On their way back in, Biton said they “saw a lot of dead people on the way, a lot of bodies in different stages,” which, at first, “didn’t seem real, and I didn’t want to believe that,” she said.
Another obstacle arrived when they returned home: The members of their kibbutz who stayed put wouldn’t let the pair in as they weren’t sure if it was actual kibbutz members trying to enter, fearful of Hamas militants trying to invade their home. Biton said she and her friend had to open their windows and shout that it was them to get someone to open the gate.
Finally, they were able to grab more supplies — money, checks, and credit cards — as well as Biton’s friend’s parents.
She said they took “whatever we had in our home because we didn’t know — we still don’t know — if we will have somewhere to go back to.”