'They keep taking people': Israeli family shelters in place during Hamas attack

Moishe Cohen lives in Israel now, although he used to live in the US. He spoke to Human Events while using his wife's phone to dial a number over and over, dialing a friend who lives in Ofakim, a city a little over 12 miles from Gaza. 

This comes after Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group, launched a surprise attack on Israel. Thousands of rockets were launched as soldiers moved across the border, killing and kidnapping Israelis. They attacked by land, air and sea.

“It goes to voice mail,” he said. Cohen lives in a place about 25 miles inward toward the center of Israel. Recently Ofakim has been taken over by Hamas terrorists holding civilians hostage.  

“This is going to be bad," Cohen told Human Events. "This is going to be a big war. They are going to keep taking the women, the children. They shoot the men trying to make a deal with them.”

"They go into the towns, they are taking women and children, sometimes men. Women and children are easy to control," he said. “They use them to get whatever they want. They want the power to say ‘Give me this or we will shoot this little girl.’”

Rafi’s wife yelled “maspeek!” Hebrew for “enough." She was sitting with Rafi and their two daughters in their apartment while they shelter in place, or hide. The family of four has been through drills and emergency situations like this before.

“Never like this,” Cohen. “This is very bad. They are killing people.”

His friend, he said, sent him a very quick shaky video. “The video is from inside his house,” he said. 

“He holds the phone out the window a little bit. And I can see people—6 of the men with the guns—not our police, not our military. This is like dirty clothing, crazy looking, pointing the guns. There was a woman, a little girl, a teenage girl and a boy. I could only see the face of the woman. I don’t think I know her. But my friend did. This is why he took the video. This is his neighbors. A family. I hear a man scream I think. But I don’t see him. They push the mother and kids towards the trucks. Then my friend pulls the phone back in, like he is scared. The video stops.”

“They took them," Cohen said. "They keep taking people. Like animals. Then the police come, the military come. They try to negotiate.” He doesn't know what they are negotiating for. 

"Power maybe?" he suggested. "They use hostages to get what they want. But there are bodies piling up.”

He said he has another video, one that shows the bodies piling up. These are not videos he found on social media, but once that were sent to him by friends.

“These are not uploaded," Cohen said. "These are recorded. Then sent to friends.I don’t look anymore. These are places I know. Places I used to hike. I take my daughters hiking. Now they are full of people who are being held by these terrorists. They put guns to their heads. To a little girl. This is animals! This is cowards! Animals! We need help!”

Cohen's voice shook as he continued.

“These people are not like us. They don’t think like us. Our military at the border? We don’t shoot. We cannot shoot unless they try to attack us, try to kill us. This is the law. But their law is not the same. The rules—they are not the same for them.”

"The military tries to arrest instead of shooting," he said of the Israeli Defense Force. "They [the terrorists] aren’t afraid of arrest. They shoot. Then it’s over.”

When asked about reports of kidnappings, he said “Yes. There is kidnapping. It’s happening. There is murder, shooting. They go into the homes. They take the family. The military and police try to talk to them from outside. They end up shooting. Hamas. Whoever this is.”

“Hezbollah," Cohen's wife said in the background. Coehn said he wasn't sure, but she continued. “They aren't staying around the edge anymore. They are going further in. We know this. We don’t know how many. Nobody knows how many.”

“Hamas, Hezbollah," she said. "Yes, yes. Tell me? Who is helping me and my daughters when they get to this house?” She curses in Hebrew.

Coehn tells me he has to go. He says he will call back. 

Names were changed in this article to protect the identity of the family.


Image: Title: israel attacks
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