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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.”

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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