Monday, July 29, 2002

Nine Orphans
17-year-old Ayelet Dikstein was orphaned along with her eight brothers and sisters when a Palestinian terrorist gunned down her mother, father and 9-year-old brother in South Mount Hebron this weekend. This is her story, as told to Yediot Aharonot:

“We were all riding in the car. I don’t know what was happening with me that day, but I was playing the recorder all the way. When we reached the Gush Etzyon intersection I fell asleep. We were six children in the car (out of 10 in the family – I.J.) and everyone was lying down or asleep, when suddenly it was like fireworks, there was a lot of shooting. I don’t remember hearing shouting, but my brother Shlomo says there was hysteria and then it became quiet. Mom and my brother were killed immediately. Dad was holding Mom’s head, which was dripping with loads of blood. When the shooting stopped he got out of the car and stood by it, probably wanting to see what was happening with us. On the right side of the road was a tall man with a weapon and a strap round his body. He looked like a soldier on leave. He suddenly took up the weapon, looked at us, turned round to face the car and shot a burst into Dad’s heart.

Then he looked at us in the eyes again, and I looked at him. He’d probably finished his bullets. Then his friend threw him a cartridge from above, but he didn’t get it, he just continued walking calmly to wards the hill, very slowly.
Dad was lying on the ground. Shlomo, who was lightly wounded, asked him what’s happening, and he said everything’s OK. Shlomo took his kippa (yarmulka) and covered Mom’s bleeding wound. We looked for the cell phone in all of Mom’s blood. I searched the memory (of the cell phone- I.J.) but I couldn’t find anything. In the nd I dialed 100 (police) and said that there had been a pigua (terrorist attack) in the Gush intersection, and that Mom, Dad and my brother were dead.

The first to arrive were Arab families. They saw the car and reversed back. All my brothers and sisters looked dead. Only later I understood that only Mom, Dad and Shuv-El were dead. I wanted to look at dad to see what he looked like, but I couldn’t look at Mom.

And then the driver of a big commercial vehicle arrived. I ran to him and asked him to help us. I hugged him and began to cry. He dialed his phone and started to shout that he was alone with a gun and he couldn’t guard all the children, he must have been talking to the army or the police. I lay under the car and through the wheels I saw the paramedics covering my Dad. I said to my brothers and sisters “Look at our parents in the black bags”.”

A few minutes after the pigua the eldest brother, 20-year-old Tzvi, rang Ayelet. “I rang to say “Shabbat Shalom” to all the family,” He says, “Ayelet suddenly told me there had been a pigua and Dad, Mom and Shuv-El had been killed.” Ayelet continues, “He was very angry and told me not to joke about such things, But I wasn’t joking.”

(My translation)