Touring the kibbutz attacked by terrorists shows everyone how far hatred and depravity can go. In one of the areas worst hit by terrorist acts, human bodies are still being identified, with the possibility of not knowing whether some of its residents are among those kidnapped in Gaza or whether their remains belong to the anonymous group.
- BY JUAN CARLOS DOS SANTOS
- Special envoy to Israel
As I was one of the first to arrive at the Savidor bus station in Tel Aviv, from where the bus that would take us to the south left, where the attacked communities were, and where the Nova electronic party was, upon arriving in Be’ I, I was one of the last to get off.
Carrying around with all the equipment and, in addition, wearing the bulletproof vest and helmet was not an easy task, so I took the time necessary to prepare and descend. The other reporters planned to prepare their reports as soon as they came down, but the same feeling apparently took hold of everyone.
The extent of the destruction is not involved; nothing has changed by order of the government, and for obvious reasons, the human bodies have been removed. The smell of burning flesh fills some parts of the kibbutz, and on some walls, traces of blood can still be seen from what appears to be a massacre carried out by Hamas terrorists.
Nothing was left standing, and in every centimeter of what until the night of October 6 were the homes of almost 1,200 people, barbarism was completely captured. No one survived, and less than 120 people were killed in the worst way, with physical and mental torture first, while others were held hostage in Gaza.
Be’eri, together with Kfar Aza, are two of the areas worst hit by terrorist actions, so 45after the attack, human remains are still identified,, with the possibility of it is not known if some of them Their inhabitants are among those kidnapped in Gaza,, or their remains are part of a group that cannot be identified, despite the most modern technology in the world.
As I wandered inside some of the houses and places in Be’eri, such as a library and a childcare center with a play park, the Merkava IV tanks fired over and over againto the indifference of almost everyone. The thing is that the tragedy that Be’eri shows us is able to silence any voice, except, as Captain Roni Kaplan said, “the cry of God.”
We stayed for about an hour in the destroyed kibbutz, with the Israeli artillery firing near us towards the Hamas positions in Gaza, feeling to a small extent the explosions from the other side and with the permanent sound of a drone flying over the area.
When we left, we were all a little impatient to share the experience, but they again asked us to wait a little longer. Just 10 minutes after leaving Be’eri, the rocket alert was activated in the place we left, just a few moments after some journalists started broadcasting from inside the bus.
The fact of conducting live broadcasts or publishing networks alerts Hamas to the presence of non-military people in the area and makes it good for them to carry out attacks that,, in a way,, can be more publicized than on other occasions.
Seeing this whole situation up close andand imagining what those terrible moments were for the inhabitants of those placessomehow made me lose my fear. It seems to mehat any situation that is different from what people are suffering from is not such a big deal.
I started going out on the streets late at nightbecause there were no restrictions on doing so, and I started broadcasting every route on my social networks, also explaining the situation experienced and the context of the general situationuation. But deep down,, I knew I was hoping to catch one of the many city raids, but I didn’t have that “luck.”
This is the dangerous thing about losing fear: one stops thinking about the risks one is taking. But it didn’t take long before I heard one of the many attacks carried out by Hamas all along the coast of Israel, from Kibbutz Zikimto Sderot, Ashkelon,, and all over Tel Aviv.
From the first day, I contacted Soly, an Israeli of Peruvian origin, along with many friends in Paraguay whoee on my list of potential interviewees. I arrived at his house in Holon, west of Tel Aviv, because we agreed,, and we talked for about half an hour.
At the end of the interview and in closing, I said that he lives in one of Hamas’ favorite places to attack. Just like that, the sirens and applications are sounding. The infernal sound coming from outside is mixed with the endless message of applications presented by a woman’s voice: “Tzeva Adom!, Tzeva Adom!” (red colorin the Hebrew language).
The scene was recorded, as was the sound when the three Iron Dome anti-missiles left their way to intercept, as much as possible, the rockets of Hamas, something that produced detonations that made the whole building shake.
That night, and in the same attack, the Iron Dome system was unable to stop the fourth rocket, which hit a building in Rishon Le Tzion, a neighborhood next to where I was.
Observing the damage caused by just one of these projectiles, it is not difficult to imagine that today Israel owes its existence to those who created this defense system, which, although imperfect, is remarkable because it saved millions so that people and homes are safe. whole country.
Days before the interview with Soly, I had to do one that was more difficult and more remote than the possibility of a rocket attack by Hamas. I moved to the city of Netanya, halfway between Tel Aviv and Haifa.
Netanya is another coastal city with a large predominance of Jews of French and Moroccan origin. In that quiet and even idyllic city,, because of the beauty of its beaches that precede the cliffs, lives Susi Schvartzman, the sister of David, the countryman who was killed by the terrorist group on October 7 in the Kfar Aza kibbutz.
The interview,, of course,, revolved around his brother’s life, whether in Paraguay or Israel. I learned, though not surprisingly, that David was one of many Israelis who fought to get more permits for Gazans to work in Israel.
In fact, many of the kibbutz workers who were attacked were Gazans,, and it is highly suspected that they were the ones who provided accurate intelligence to Hamas so that they could inflict more damage on these farming communities.
But without a doubt, talking to a Paraguayan professional who participated in the forensic work after the massacre was something surprising, because he, Dr. Miriam Cohenca, presented me with the details of the work she did on those corpses.
The strength and unity of the Israeli people as a nation, not just the Jews (more than two million Arab Muslims and Christians live in Israel), was seen when they showed me how the sector of tourism and the government announced a solution to accommodate the displaced from the north and residents of the south of the country.
Political differences persist in a divided society, but one that overwhelmingly adopted a unifying motto, “Together we win,” and this nationalist epidemic can be observed to this day in the streets of the cities of Israel,, full of blue and white flags with a a starofDavid in the middle.
The demonstrations of support and solidarity for the families of the hostages were more than noticeable,, and I had to participate in a meeting with them in Kiryat, in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense in Tel Aviv. Hundreds of people wearing yellow ribbons and the image of more than 230 kidnapped by terrorists are looking for an explanation and a little hope for themselves.
After eight intense days, with a lot of work still to be done, and and satisfied in part because of being able to generate information from the scene itself, I left Israel on Friday, October 28, again with the Israeli airline with anti-missile protection.n.
Fate would give me a final experience of the tragedy that Israel experienced on October 7, in the middle of Shabbat, the Jewish cultural day of rest. Next to me was a mother holding her baby and a girl about 3 years old. Her name is Mia. Shortly after undressing, he fell asleep almost shirtless, and after a few minutes, he fell asleep. So, with some signs, I asked the mother if she could cover him with the extra coat I brought. He nodded.
Before landing, Mía woke up, kindly returned my coat, and gave me a candy she had hidden in one of her pockets. His mother, who barely spoke English, thanked me and said more words, fewer words: “My husband died in the kibbutz, so now we are going to Russia.” My journey, which began almost at the beginning of Shabbat, also ended on a day similar to the sad and sad Saturday of October 7th.