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Sunday, April 22, 2007

A direct hit during the "ceasefire"

A direct hit during the "ceasefire"
By Noam Bedein, CEO
Sderot Information Center for the Western Negev

At 8:30 PM on Saturday night, April 21st. 2007 ,  less than an hour after  the Bibiyen family finished the Sabbath with the traditional blessing over thespices, wine and a candle-- all the symbols of the hope to begin a new week of living -- a missile fired from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) camp in Jabalya  in the Gaza strip scored a  direct hit on the Bibiyen home.

The extended Bibiyen family consisting of  two grandparents,  Dvora 52 , and Yigal, 64, had welcomed  the families of their four sons and one daughter to spend the Sabbath with them. Everything had ended on such a pleasant note.

This reporter spoke with the Bibiyen family on Sunday morning while they
were cleaning through the rubble.

All of them were stunned and still trying to comprehend the miracle that occurred  the previous night.

One of the sons, Yahav 31, still a bit shaken, said that he did not realize until Sunday  morning how  close each family member was to being literally  blown to bits.

Yahav told the story, fresh in his mind, how  the "Color Red" alarm had gone off, and, only seconds later, how he heard a huge explosion  upstairs on the second floor; where his mother and his wife -- in her fifth month of pregnancy-- were sitting and talking.

The missile tore through the staircase, flinging the stairs 30 meters away  to the street below, smashing into the roof of a car.

Yahav added that it took almost an one hour until his wife and mother were evacuated from the second floor, from where a fire engine ladder lifted both of them into a waiting ambulance -- both of whom diagnosed by a medic to be in a an advanced state of shock and in need of immediate treatment. On the Sunday morning after, they were both resting in the hospital in Ashkelon.

With a sigh of relief, Yahav said that "I am glad that everyone is  ok --physically-- , and when I think  of how  my brother had just left with his two  children 10 minutes before after  watching TV exactly where the  wall had fallen  down, how my other brother with his 8 months pregnant wife had left 5 minutes before, and how my sister and father had just come downstairs into the kitchen, I am overwhelmed..."

Yahav walked through the house, and pointed out that  the pictures of the Rabbis on the walls weren't  damaged, while all other pictures and fixtures were destroyed, and carefully marked  the places where each and every one from the family was standing where one could see the hole that the rocket bore through the wall and  the staircase was blown away.

Yahav said that he could not understand how this miracle had happened, because if anyone in the family had been standing a few steps away  from where theywere standing, this would have meant certain death.

"If we had 2 more seconds to start running down the staircase --  we wouldn't be here today. If my brother would have decided to stay a bit longer with his children, who knows what could have happened" said Yahav, who also noticed that the missile had barely missed the gas tanks.

Yuval,  Yahav's older brother, was asked how his two children were doing who had left the house only ten minutes before.

They heard the blast and ran back to the house and watched their grandmother and Aunt being rescued from the second floor.

Yuval said that his children are only worried about their grandmother, Devorah, and they keep asking what happened to her.

Yuval said that he would have trouble taking his children to visit their grandparents' home again. They will simply not understand why and how it was destroyed.

Yahav goes back to work on Lag B'omer, the day that wedding season resumes on the Jewish calendar. That is because Yahav is a wedding video photographer for his livelihood.

Yahav used to cover missile attacks for Israel TV and quit  because he wanted to film happier events. That is, happier events than the 212th missile to hit the western Negev since Israel declared a self-imposed "cease-fire" on November 26th, 2006.

IMRA - Independent Media Review and Analysis

Copyright - Original materials copyright (c) by the authors. Originally posted at Please do link to these articles, quote from them and forward them by email to friends with this notice. Other uses require written permission of the author.


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