In a harrowing account of survival, 27-year-old Michal Ohana, a resident of Portugal, arrived in Israel to celebrate her nephew’s birth at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. However, her joyous visit took a tragic turn when she found herself caught in the Hamas shooting spree during the music festival near Kibbutz Reim on Shabbat.


Recalling the terrifying events from her hospital bed while holding her nephew close, Ohana described how a seemingly ordinary gathering turned into a nightmare. “My nephew was born a few days ago, and my sister stayed in the hospital for observation after a caesarean section. I went to a party in the south with friends and arrived around three in the morning,” she said. “Everything was fine until six in the morning when there was a siren. They turned off the music and told everyone to lie on the floor.” Expecting the missiles to be intercepted, Ohana and her friends soon realized the severity of the situation as gunshots rang out.


Attempting to flee in a car, Ohana and her friends’

encountered terrorists who began shooting at them less than two meters away. Forced to abandon the vehicle, they sought refuge in an MDA trailer with wounded individuals. They managed to stay hidden for fifteen minutes until the situation escalated when terrorists fired at the trailer. A policewoman with them started shouting, “Run out quickly, or we’ll die.” Ohana and her friends sprinted, and at one point, she told them she had no more strength to run. A car stopped and quickly picked them up as they attempted to flee the scene.


Their ordeal continued as they tried to navigate to safety on a road, they thought was secure. However, four vans carrying terrorists blocked them, unleashing gunfire that did not stop coming. There were wounded and lifeless bodies scattered along the road. Abandoning the vehicle once again, they ran into the unknown until they found shelter under an IDF tank. “It was activated, but there were no soldiers in it.”


Ohana and her friends hid under the tank for six hours, while Ohana suffered a gunshot wound. Later, it was discovered that the soldiers who operated the tank had either been injured or taken hostage. Ohana expressed her concern for friends who suffered a similar fate, recognizing familiar faces among the injured in photos and videos circulating on social media.


Currently hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Kerem, Ohana is receiving treatment for her injuries. Meanwhile, her sister, who recently gave birth, is recuperating on a floor just above her. The juxtaposition of joy and tragedy underscores the stark reality faced by Ohana and others who found themselves entangled in a violent and senseless act.


Our thoughts and Refuah Shelema are with her, and all affected by this senseless violence.


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