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June 9, 2016 12:08 pm

Survivor of Bloody Terrorist Attack in Tel Aviv Recounts Brush With Death in Horrifying Detail

avatar by Lea Speyer

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Israeli emergency personnel at the scene of a terror attack at the popular Sarona Market in Tel Aviv. Photo: Magen David Adom.

Israeli emergency personnel at the scene of a terror attack at the popular Sarona Market in Tel Aviv. Photo: Magen David Adom.

A survivor of yesterday’s terror attack in Tel Aviv gave a detailed account of her harrowing ordeal on social media, after narrowly escaping death at the hands of two Palestinian terrorists on a shooting spree.

Linda Dayan — an IDF soldier who was off duty at the time of the attack — took to Facebook to set the record straight on the events surrounding the attack.

On Wednesday, two Hamas-affiliated terrorists, dressed in black business suits, entered the popular Max Brenner chocolate bar/cafe at the Sarona Market shopping complex. After sitting down and ordering food, the terrorists — who it was later determined hail from the village of Yatta near Hebron — opened fire. Before being neutralized by security guards, they managed to kill four people — two men and two women — and wound 16. 

Dayan wrote that she and her friend, Jordan, had gone out to eat at the Benedict restaurant at Sarona, because she was “supposed to stay on base all weekend and for the [upcoming Shavuot] holiday.” The pair decided to take a table inside the establishment, because it was hot outside, and they “were seated by the wall, glass from ceiling to floor. It was nice.”

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Dayan then described what happened next:

We heard this popping noise. At first, I thought it was an electrical problem. Then the screaming started, and the people running past our window. I saw a man. I do not remember the man, but I remember the gun held by the man. It was bright silver and because I worked on a video about them once, I knew it was a Carlo Gustav rifle. There was fire coming from the barrel and it was red and it made the gun even more silver and I did not notice that he was wearing black and white. He was on the other side of the window, four feet away, separated by glass. Very quickly, everyone at the restaurant either ran or fell to the ground. Jordan ran, I fell to the ground. You don’t coordinate these things.

I lied there, facing away from the window. I really hoped he wouldn’t come into the restaurant or shoot at the glass wall. If he did, I would die. My breathing was steady and I noticed that the floor was wet, which was unpleasant but not, you know, the worst part.

After the sounds of the shooting grew softer, someone from the restaurant shouted we all need to run to the back in case they return or enter the restaurant. I did. I ran and I hoped he wasn’t still there outside, the gun and the man holding it. If he was, he could shoot me.

The people in the back of the restaurant — everyone who had been in the restaurant — were staring at me, and I looked down and saw that I was covered in blood. I had fallen on my chin. It was my own.

Jordan found me and cleaned off the blood. We hugged a lot. We told each other ‘I love you.’ We called our families. I left a lot of voice messages.

Dayan and her fellow survivors were taken to a nearby hospital. “We were ‘in shock,’ which we didn’t feel like we were, because shock is a very calm feeling actually,” she wrote. Dayan remembers being treated by a physician’s assistant who “had an Arab name.” After getting her physical injury treated, Dayan and others were seen by a psychiatrist, “who was very nice and made us laugh.”

Looking back at her brush with death and how the terrorists behind the Sarona attack are being hailed as heroes in their hometown, Dayan issued a call to those reading her post to reconsider any justifications they may have for terror against Israel, writing:

I’m thinking about all the ‘devil’s advocates’ I’ve known, the ‘they have no other venues for protest’ camp, the ‘it’s justifiable in a conflict like this’ college students I shared desks with. Please consider, if you’ve read this far: if we hadn’t sat outside, if the shooters came into the restaurant, if one had turned slightly to the left and fired, I would be dead right now. I don’t care what ‘side’ you’re on. I don’t care about your politics…call out terror for what it is. Call men shooting at screaming civilians who are running for their lives terrorist. Tell the people you know that it’s never okay to target innocent men, women and children, even if you don’t like where they live. Stand up for the people…who will never come home again after tonight. Stand up for the workers, the parents, the grandparents, the friend, the off-duty soldier who laid there on the floor and breathed softly, praying the glass would hold. Stand up to anyone who says my life isn’t worth it. Because when they say it, I’ve learned, they mean it.

I’m alive. I’m alive. The world is beautiful, and I’m alive.

Among the four Israelis killed was a renowned professor and a bride-to-be. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed “decisive action” in tracking down those behind the perpetrators of the attack, one of whom is being treated at the Ichilov Medical Center. The other is in police custody.

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  • Mayven

    There are bad seeds nurtured by people who are no different…blinded to a any sense of decency …respect.

  • Correction to above comment please if you publish: COMMA after
    Charters (second line); ‘sea’ not ‘see’ of resistance (third line)

  • Hamas, unlike the Palestine Authority, if you look at their respective Charters are Fascist Islamo-imperialists who seek to impose Islam upon the whole world. They see Israel as an island of resistance in a see of Islam that, on all accounts, MUST be extinguished.

    To slightly paraphrase the famous words of C17th English poet John Donne, I would say this to the people of Europe and elsewhere:
    “Send not to know for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for not just the Jew, it tolls for ……………YOU!

  • nat cheiman

    Beware Hamas. Lieberman is coming for you

  • Fraide

    Oh yeah, they,(the Hamas followers) want peace. They have a “funny” way of showing it. Are you reading this Sec’y of State Kerry and Pres. Obama?

  • Absolutely true! How is it possible that people are so appalled about what Isis is doing, but make no connection to the same behavior as those of the “Palestinians” as well as all those thugs running about Europe, their new home, while wielding knives. This is not civilized behavior. Jews have always been marginalized, attacked in massacres, kicked out of tons of countries, executed in many places throughout history..but when have you ever heard of The Jewish People chasing down people in cold blood? It is not the type of thing Jews are known for at all. This type of cold blooded Muslim terrorism is happening all over the world. There is a sickness within these people that is spreading like a growth. Their children are boing poisoned with hatred against a people they truly have no knowledge of intimately. Jewish people are builders. We build institutions, solve problems, find cures, write books and make the desert bloom. What a different world it would be if these Moslem terrorists would look to live side by side with other people instead of needing everyone to be like them. When Jews are oppressed, we move on, we relocate, we build again..schools, synagogues and community institutions. We do not kill people because we do not get everything we want. We never have gotten what we have wanted, which is just peace and a little peace of land granted to us four thousand years ago and counting by The Lord, G-d himself who told us to make ourselves a nation…be fruitful and multiply and to keep his commandments. We have never forgotten our place, our home. We share it with other people, other nations and creeds. I would think the Arabs should be grateful for what they have in the land of Israel. They reap all the benefits of a modern country. I would like to see how happy they would be if they were all shipped to Iraq these days. All the terror, they bring about and on to themselves and their families with acts of violence constantly. This is not the Jewish way. There would be no violence to them or their families is they were a peaceful lot of people. In what countries are people who regularly stab and kill people allowed to just remain? It is beyond preposterous. Is their no shame within these communities at the actions of their own people? Have they no conscience? It is hard for Westerners to understand…Their is a pervading sickness in a group of people that teaches their children how to kill. These babes will have no childhood and a poisoned mind. I am not so sure that any of this is what Mohammed desired, even if he himself was somewhat violent in his attacks on the Jewish people for not becoming like him. How anyone can justify these behaviors as having anything to do with the Jewish people is beyond insane. You either raise and educate your people to be G-d fearing and accountable for their actions, community builders and solid citizens, or you create a culture of fear, hatred and destruction of all that is in your path (including ancient archeological sites). This is not a civilization to be admired for much of anything anymore….they have become a scourge on the earth, a menage to the rest of the world. There must be a cure. Surely Moshiach is on his way in one form or another. A culture is most often remembered and respected for what is has achieved, accomplished and built throughout history, not what is has destroyed. Surely there are level headed Muslims who cringe at having anything to do with these murderers and mongers of hate. We need to hear more from these people. There is power in numbers. Rise up and speak out against these actions that are being perpetrated in the name of Islam. I’d like to see a march on Washington with protests actually coming from American Muslims themselves who oppose these barbaric actions. These actions can just as soon kill them and their families if they are in the wrong place at the wrong time. A bullet or bomb has no address….

  • Lia

    Not a single armed soldier? Mr Barkat, you should talk to the people of Tel Aviv too. My heart goes out to the families and friends of the slain and the wounded and their families and friends. Praying for all of you.

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