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October 22, 2015 2:09 pm

Bereaved, Injured Israelis Talk About Wounds to Body and Spirit Sustained in Recent Terror Attacks

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

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Police at the scene of a terrorist attack in which two Palestinian terrorists boarded a bus in Jerusalem and killed two Israelis. Photo: Israeli Police Foreign Press.

Police at the scene of a terrorist attack in which two Palestinian assailants boarded a bus in Jerusalem and killed two Israelis. Photo: Courtesy of Israel Police to Foreign Press Association.

Bereaved Israelis, who have lost family members and much of their spirit to recent terrorist attacks, spoke about their experiences in an interview with NPR on Wednesday.

Odel Bennett, 22, was walking with her husband and two young children in the Muslim Quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City two weeks ago, when a Palestinian man attacked her and her husband with a knife. She screamed for help while being stabbed 17 times. Her husband and a rabbi who came to the couple’s aid were killed by the terrorists.

Bennett told NPR she remembers running for help with a knife still lodged in her shoulder, and though many Arabs witnessed the event and watched her stumble down the street bleeding and begging for mercy, no one stopped to help her. In fact, she said, they did the opposite.

“They yelled at me. They spat at me. They cursed me to die,” Bennett said in Hebrew, according to NPR‘s Emily Harris.

The mother-of-two, who is now out of the hospital, said her family is destroyed and she no longer has strength. She told NPR that she faces months of rehabilitation, and that her husband had been the sole financial provider for the family.

“The truth is we are shattered,” she said, “and we don’t know how to collect all of our pieces.”

Like Bennett, Menashe Haim recently lost a family member to a terrorist attack. His father and mother, Jewish immigrants from Iraq who moved to Israel when they were young, were on a Jerusalem bus last week when they were attacked by two Palestinians. Haim’s father was shot to death and his mother, who was shot in her elbow and chest, recently came out of the intensive care unit at a Jerusalem hospital.

Haim told NPR he had a hard time telling his 11-year-old daughter how her grandfather had died.

“She asked, ‘Why? Why did they do this?’ So I didn’t have any answer,” Haim said.

Noam Tzion told NPR he once believed Israelis and Palestinians had enough of the same core values to negotiate a peaceful agreement with which both sides would be satisfied. He’s no longer sure, now that Palestinians have carried out two terrorist attacks within a mile of his home. He said these days he is now wary of every Arab he sees on the street.

“What I changed my mind about is I don’t think that the issues that we have in Israel between Jews and Arabs are the result of a national conflict between Jewish nationality and Palestinian nationality,” he said. “I think the issues today are defined by radical Islam. And with radical Islam, there is no possibility of a solution of any kind.”

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