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Survivor Stories

Families from Kfar Azza

Michael, Amalia, and Avigail Edan

Smadar and Roy Edan's children, Michael (9), Amalia (6), and Avigail (4), were left orphaned after their parents were brutally killed by Hamas terrorists in Kfar Azza. Roy, a photojournalist, was documenting the attack when he was killed. Smadar was murdered shortly afterwards in their home when terrorists broke in.

 

Although the three children managed to escape, the youngest, Avigail, sought refuge in a neighbor's house, only to be kidnapped along with that family by the terrorists. Currently, they are being held hostage in Gaza. Michael and Amalia, however, were able to hide in a nearby shelter and were rescued after 14 hours.

Avichai Brodutch

Avichai Brodutch lived in Kfar Azza with his wife, Hagar, and their three children, Ofri (10), Yuval (8), and Oriya (4).

 

After saving his neighbor’s daughter, Avigail (featured in the previous story), and placing her and the rest of his family in his home’s safe room, Avichai ventured out to see how he could help during the attack, and was injured in the process.

 

Hagar, Ofri, Yuval, Oriya, and their neighbor’s daughter, Avigail, were all taken hostage by Hamas terrorists into Gaza.

 

Avichai protests for their safe return outside of the IDF Headquarters in Tel Aviv daily.

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Shaylee Atary and Shaya, her newborn daughter

Shaylee and her daughter survived the attacks on Kibbutz Kfar Azza by escaping from terrorists storming their family home. Shaylee’s husband, filmmaker Yahav Winner, died barricading the door from the terrorists to allow Shaylee and their daughter a safe way out. The two hid in a bomb shelter for 26 hours until they were saved by Israeli forces.

 

Shaylee learned of her late husband’s death while on a live television interview with an international news network.

Jessica Timmer and her children, Roni and Dean Amikam

Nadav, Jessica, and their children Roni and Dean lived in Kfar Azza.

Upon hearing about the attack, Nadav went to defend the community as part of the team of Emergency Responders. He was murdered by Hamas terrorists.

 

Although their home was completely destroyed and ransacked, Jessica, Ran, and Dean survived the attack. They are left with nothing in their possession.

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The Berdichesky Twins

Itay and Hadar Berdichesky, both 30 years old and parents of twin baby boys, were attacked by Hamas terrorists in their home at Kibbutz Kfar Aza.

Both Itay and Hadar tried to fight off the terrorists, but were ultimately shot and killed. Miraculously, their babies survived in the safe room of their home, but were unattended for 12-14 hours before being discovered by the Israeli Defense Forces. They were rescued and are now thankfully in the loving care and protection of their grandmother and other family members, who are themselves reeling from this unspeakable tragedy.

Eti and Shlomo Koren

Before their morning walk on October 7th, Eti and Shlomo Koren heard rockets over their heads, and went straight into their safe room. Immediately, they received notice that terrorists had infiltrated their neighborhood.

 

After stealing their bikes, guitars, and lounging in their backyard, Hamas terrorists proceeded to burn down the Koren’s home. Their entire home was destroyed, except for the safe room that the two were hidden in without electricity for 30 hours.

 

Their youngest son heroically coordinated the efforts to save them alongside IDF Special Forces.

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Yaniv Ohana and family

On the morning of October 7th, Yaniv Ohana was called up to defend Kfar Azza as part of the team of community Emergency Responders.

 

On his way to save his family from terrorists infiltrating their home, Yaniv encountered a tank full of Hamas terrorists dressed as IDF soldiers - and singlehandedly killed each one. Unfortunately, he was severly injured, and remained hidden until he was saved many hours later.

 

The terrorists set his house on fire, and his family miraculously escaped through a side door, hiding in a warehouse for nine hours until they were saved by the IDF.

Irene Shavit

Irene Shavit and Neta Epstein, both 22, lived in the young adult neighborhood of Kfar Azza, and stayed the weekend to attend the annual kite festival that symbolized peace.

 

On the morning of October 7th, Hamas terrorists broke into their home, and began throwing grenades into their safe room, where they were hiding. As the third grenade was thrown inside, Neta immediately jumped on top of it, saving Irene’s life. Neta was tragically killed by the grenade’s explosion and gunshots from the terrorists.

 

The terrorists proceeded to set fire to the home. Irene miraculously survived when IDF special forces saved her five hours later. She hopes that Neta visits her in her dreams - “if he is okay, then I will be okay.” They planned to wed in April 2024.

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Ilanit Swissa and Renana Botzer Swissa

Ilanit, Renana, aged 13, and the rest of their family were in their home in Kfar Azza the morning of October 7th.

 

When rocket sirens began sounding, the family rushed to their safe room. They remained in their safe room for 16 hours, unsure of what Hamas terrorists were planning outside their door. Their home was completely destroyed.

 

IDF Special Forces rescued the family, only for them to find the carnage and destruction that surrounded.

 

Renana made one promise to her mother, Ilanit, that day - if they survived, Renana would allow her to kiss her cheeks as often as she wanted without complaint. The family is now being housed in a Kibbutz north of Tel Aviv, where Ilanit is taking part of logistical operations for survivors.

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