An Israeli mother who evaded capture with her two young children recalled being led by Hamas to Gaza to the sound of blaring gunshots and seeing everything was “destroyed and covered in blood” before she could escape.
Terrorists broke into Avital Aldjem’s home and dragged her out from the closet where she was hidden before forcing her and her two children — Negev, 4, and baby Eshel, just four months — to begin walking with them toward Gaza.
“They took us from house to house, the whole time there were gunshots along the way,” Aldjem told i24news reporter Natasha Raquel Kirtchuk Gutmansaid in Hebrew.
“Puddles of blood everywhere.”
“They were burning the homes. Cars were on fire. Then they took me and my kids outside and took us to the fence that surrounds the Kibbutz. There was a breach in the fence, and they began to walk us toward Gaza,” she said.
Through tears, the mother recalled the terrorists constantly telling them “Quick, quick,” and gunshots continued to be fired off the entire walk.
Her son, Negev, was being carried on the shoulders of one of the terrorists screaming that he wanted to be let down for the entire trek.
Fortunately for Aldjem and her children, when they arrived in Gaza their captors simply put the children down, shook their heads, and continued walking without them.
“They continued to Gaza and left me and the kids,” she said. “At that moment, I realized we were free to go home.”
Aldjem began walking home alone, on foot, with her two children.
Her older child, Negev, who had an injured from shrapnel, was carried on Aldjem’s back and also walked himself.
“He was brave,” the mother noted. “I told him we need to get away from the bad men and go back home to the good people.”
Explosions sounded off the entire walk home, and by the time they reached the border, there was another group of terrorists waiting, Aldjem said.
“When we get to the border I see another group of terrorists. I took the children and we hid behind a dune. They didn’t hurt us and we continued,” she said.
Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip launched the worst attack on Israel in about 50 years on Saturday.
An estimated 700 Israelis have been killed, more than 2,000 are wounded, and 100 are confirmed to have been taken captive by Hamas since the war began.
Gaza health officials report at least 300 Palestinians have been killed with 2,200 injured.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Israelis that the war would be “long and difficult” but vowed to take “mighty vengeance” against Hamas.