Released captive tells how Israeli fire killed kibbutz resident

An Israeli woman taken captive by Palestinian fighters on 7 October 2023 is grateful to the helicopter pilot who shot at the vehicle she was riding in, killing another Israeli as well as all of their abductors, Israel’s Channel 12 reported last month.

Shani Goren, a 29-year-old resident of Kibbutz Nir Oz, was taken from her home at gunpoint by Palestinian fighters and transported to the Gaza Strip, where she was held for 55 days. She was released on 30 November.

Before she reached Gaza, however, a vehicle carrying Goren away came under heavy fire from an Israeli combat helicopter.

When the gunfire ceased, Goren realized that the helicopter’s high-caliber bullets had killed all of her abductors, as well as one Israeli woman, fellow Nir Oz resident Efrat Katz.

“My pants are all ripped and covered in blood. I raise my head and see dominoes,” Goren recalled to Ilana Dayan, host of Channel 12’s prestigious investigative program Uvda – and by coincidence also her cousin. “All the terrorists – dead.”

You can watch part of Goren’s account with English subtitles in the video above or on Youtube. A transcript is below.

Goren and the other Israeli captives who survived the volley of helicopter gunfire were abducted again minutes later by other Palestinians returning from Nir Oz on one of the tractors of the kibbutz.

Only one woman, 63-year-old Neomit Dekel-Chen, avoided their fate by pretending to be mortally wounded from the helicopter gunfire.

On 7 October, the Israeli army implemented its controversial Hannibal directive, which amounts to an order to assassinate Israeli captives to avoid having to barter for their lives by freeing Palestinians held in Israeli prisons.

At Kibbutz Be’eri, another Israeli colonial settlement near the Gaza boundary fence, the Israeli army attacked a home containing 14 civilian captives and several dozen Hamas fighters.

All but one of the Qassam fighters and all but two of the captives were killed in the intense crossfire. At least three of the civilians, including 12-year-old Liel Hatsroni, were incinerated by Israeli tank shells fired at the house.

As The Electronic Intifada previously reported, Barak Hiram, the Israeli general who gave the order to fire at the house, told a fabricated story in an attempt to cover up this incident, when Channel 12’s Ilana Dayan interviewed him in October.

The families of the Israeli civilians killed by Israeli army fire at Kibbutz Be’eri have demanded that the military immediately investigate the incident and the decision to use overwhelming firepower at the cost of the lives of their loved ones.

Israeli military sources have revealed that on 7 October attack helicopters, along with armed drones, swarmed the skies above southern Israel and around Gaza.

Israeli news outlet Ynet reported in November how “28 fighter helicopters shot over the course of the day all of the ammunition in their bellies, in renewed runs to rearm.”

Ynet mentions in particular Lieutenant Colonel A., the commander of Squadron 190, who around mid-morning of 7 October “instructed the other fighters in the air to shoot at everything they see in the area of the fence.”

“If he shoots again, it’s me who dies”

At least one survivor of the same Israeli helicopter attack that killed Nir Oz resident Efrat Katz has blasted Israel’s repeated readiness to sacrifice the lives of its citizens – on the day she was taken, while she was held in Gaza, and ever since her return home on 27 November.

In a meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his war cabinet the week after her release, Sharon Cunio assailed the Israeli leaders over their sanctioning of the Hannibal directive and pleaded with them to take no more risks with the life of her husband David Cunio, still held in Gaza.

“The feeling we had there is that no one is doing anything for us. The fact is that I was in a hiding place that was bombed, and we were forced to be smuggled out of there, wounded. Not counting the helicopter that shot at us on the way to Gaza. You claim there is intelligence, but the fact is we were bombed,” Cunio told them, according to Israeli news outlet Ynet, which obtained recordings of the contentious meeting.

“My husband was separated from us three days before we returned to Israel and was taken to the tunnels,” Cunio told the members of the war cabinet. “And you are talking about flooding the tunnels with seawater? You are bombing the route of the tunnels in the area they are being held in.”

Cunio’s anger over Israel’s repeated implementation of the Hannibal directive is not shared by Goren, however, who was taken to Gaza on the same tuk tuk – a small motorized utility vehicle.

Asked what words she has for the helicopter pilot that sprayed them with gunfire, Goren replied with appreciation – and regret that he did not resume his fire at the second group of Palestinians that carried them off to Gaza.

“Thank you – and why didn’t you stay?” Goren told Channel 12. “Also, why weren’t you there, here, to take down everyone here? If one helicopter had fired, everything would be okay. We would never have gotten to Gaza.”

Goren’s appreciation is all the more striking since she appears to understand that she could have been killed just like Efrat Katz if the helicopter had returned.

“I was also trying to hide, to get inside as much as possible,” Goren explains to Ilana Dayan as they watch footage of the second vehicle laden with people that would eventually make it to Gaza. “At that moment my fear was if the helicopter shot at us again. And this time my back is exposed. If he shoots again, it’s me who dies.”

Goren also described how on 23 October she and other Israelis held in Gaza were hurriedly evacuated by their Palestinian captors from the home they were being kept in amid a warning of imminent bombing, presumably by the Israeli air force.

“Immense” amount of friendly fire

Doron Katz-Asher and her two little girls Raz and Aviv were in the first vehicle with Efrat Katz, Doron’s mother, and Shani Goren when the helicopter attacked.

Katz-Asher told Channel 12 in a December interview what went through her head the moment after the Israeli helicopter opened fire, killing her mother and injuring Katz-Asher and her 2-year-old Aviv.

“It sounds far-fetched, but I was in a war movie with shooting and terrorists and I wanted so badly to reach Gaza, for them to take me to a safe place, in quotes, where I won’t be under fire,” Katz-Asher said. “And where they’ll maybe even treat my wounds.”

“It was even a kind of relief when we finally arrived [in Gaza] alive,” Katz-Asher added.

Katz-Asher and her two girls would return home on 24 November, as part of the temporary ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal that month.

While she was in Gaza, Katz-Asher said she couldn’t help feeling that “we are being abandoned” by Israeli leaders and “that maybe they are only occupied with vengeance.”

The Israeli military has admitted to an “immense and complex quantity” of so-called friendly fire incidents on 7 October, in which Israeli forces fired on their own citizens.

According to Ynet, however, the military is of the view that “it would not be morally sound to investigate” them.

Regarding Efrat Katz, the army has said, “From an examination of the incident described, no reply can be made with certainty in response to the claims of the family at this stage.”

As of yet, there is no exact or official figure for how many of the roughly 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals Israel says died on that day were actually killed by Israeli forces.

It may be that Katz, as a kibbutz resident, was seen as a leftist – at least in Israeli terms – and therefore considered even more disposable.

Living on stolen land

Although Zionists marketed the kibbutzim to the world as idealistic, socialist collective farms, the reality is that they were Jewish-only colonial settlements often built on land brutally conquered from ethnically cleansed Palestinians.

Nir Oz and several other nearby Zionist colonies were built on land that belonged to the Abu Sitta family, in a community called al-Main, until they were expelled by the Zionist colonists to Gaza during the Nakba.

Most of these settlements were established as colonial outposts or military garrisons to consolidate the conquests of the new Zionist settler-colonial state.

Al-Main was attacked by Zionist militias on 14 May 1948. The Haganah, the Zionist armed group that later became the Israeli army, “destroyed and burned homes, demolished the school that was built in 1920, blew up the motorized well and the flour mill,” wrote Salman Abu Sitta, the renowned Palestinian geographer and a survivor of the ethnic cleansing.

“They were resisted bravely for several hours by 15 Palestinian defenders armed by old rifles,” Abu Sitta recounts. “As a child, I witnessed the smoldering remains of my village while I was huddled with other children and women in a nearby ravine. I never saw a Jew before and did not know who the attackers were or why they came to destroy our life.”

So began Abu Sitta’s life as a refugee.

Five years ago, De-Colonizer, a project which aims to educate about the Nakba, set up an exhibit in the last house that is still standing in al-Main and invited Israeli residents of the surrounding kibbutzim to view it.

“The angriest comments and indeed threats, came from an old kibbutznik, over 80, who witnessed and participated in the attack on al-Main,” Abu Sitta observed.

Other settlers similarly expressed anger, denial and defiance at being confronted with the reality of their presence on land forcibly taken from people living as refugees, caged in a ghetto just a few miles away.

But several people who visited the exhibit were more thoughtful, one of them none other than Nir Oz resident Efrat Katz.

“What I’ve seen here today was very moving and even painful. In spite of living here more than 35 years, I feel the need and the hope to return to the land and revive it with the past emotions, to revive it with the culture and habits of you, the residents,” Katz said in a handwritten note.

“A land is not a brick. A land is value, it is roots, it is a love for a place. There’s no room for deportation. My heart is with you.”

On 7 October 2023, the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the Palestinians expelled in 1948 came back to their land, executing a devastating assault against the Israeli military bases and colonial settlements that had forcibly usurped their place and the lives they might have lived.

“I could have been one of those who broke through the fence had I been much younger and was still living in the concentration camp called the Gaza Strip,” Salman Abu Sitta, now in his 80s, wrote in January.

Efrat Katz died on that day at the hands of those who were supposedly charged with protecting her.

Opportunity for a crime that didn’t happen

Shani Goren’s recollections of her capture on 7 October seem to be incongruous with the Israeli government’s allegations that Palestinian fighters were ordered by their commanders to rape Israeli women during the attack.

When the kibbutz came under attack early on Saturday morning, Goren followed phone advice from her brother Amit and barricaded herself in her bedroom. When five Palestinian fighters arrived and entered her bedroom, they found her wearing next to no clothes. “I was wearing underwear, no bra, and a crop top, what I usually wear to bed,” Goren told Dayan.

One of the fighters rifled through her wardrobe, pulled out leg coverings and passed them to her. “He threw tights at me,” Goren recalled. “He told me: ‘Get dressed.’”

At the time, Palestinian fighters had complete control of Kibbutz Nir Oz. “I look to either side – there are millions of them,” Goren remembers. “No one else. I say: ‘Where is the army?’”

If the Palestinian fighters had really been instructed to commit sex crimes on that day, they could have violated Goren with alarming ease. Instead, they led her on a walk around the village, seemingly to celebrate their conquest of the kibbutz.

Channel 12’s Dayan characterized it as “a kind of victory lap through the paths of Nir Oz.”

Hoping to calm her nerves, Goren asked the leader of the Palestinians who had abducted her for a cigarette. He then approached another fighter, secured a cigarette for her, and allowed her to smoke it. After a short time, another fighter yelled at her and she was forced to put it out.

The fact that a scantily clad 29-year-old Israeli woman was not sexually assaulted when her captors had ample opportunity to do so, or during her nearly two months of captivity in Gaza, cannot by itself prove that no sex crime occurred anywhere else on the battlefield that day.

But it does provide additional context against which to evaluate the Israeli claims – made on the basis of debunked and discredited accounts and thus far presented without any forensic evidence or first-person testimony – that such crimes were systematic, pre-planned and were perpetrated on the order of Hamas commanders “as a weapon of war.”

In this respect, Goren’s recollections of her experience can be added to those of Yasmin Porat, one of the only two Israelis to survive the shelling of the home ordered by General Barak Hiram at Kibbutz Be’eri.

In an interview with Israeli state radio in October, Porat recounted how the dozens of Palestinian fighters had treated her and the other civilians they were holding “humanely.”

She insisted that the fighters intended to “kidnap us to Gaza. Not to murder us.”

“It was very frightening but no one treated us violently,” Porat said. “Luckily nothing happened to me like what I heard in the media.”

David Sheen is the author of Kahanism and American Politics: The Democratic Party’s Decades-Long Courtship of Racist Fanatics.

Transcript of video

Voiceover: It’s 6:45 am and this is a special news broadcast in the wake of a volley of missiles and rockets shot into Israeli territory.

Shani Goren: I call [my brother] Amit and he tells me: Get up, lock the door, shut everything, do not step out of the house. Lift the handle of the safe room and stay there.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: Her brother Amit was not in Nir Oz that Saturday. Her sister Shira was at the kibbutz, as was her good friend Arbel Yahud, still at her home at this stage.

Shani Goren: I spoke with Arbel, we were both stressed. We couldn’t speak. We said we loved each other. We hoped they wouldn’t reach us and nothing would happen.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: From that moment she was on the line with her brother’s partner the whole time.

Shani Goren: Nofar called me, I spoke with her for two hours.

Ilana Dayan: You just held each other on the line?

Shani Goren: Yes, later she told me it had been two hours. From my perspective we spoke for half an hour. I tell her: “I’m scared” and she says: “Breathe.” And then suddenly there were noises in the house. I whisper to her: “Nofar they’re here! They’re here!” She tells me: “Okay. Be quiet. Breathe. I’m with you on the line.” I was covered under the blanket. Crunched up, trying to stay close to the closet, in case they come. And then the door was opened quietly and they tossed in a grenade. I tell her: “They threw something at me, they threw a grenade!” Luckily for me the grenade did not explode. And after a few seconds they came in.

Ilana Dayan: This is the safe room, your bedroom is also the safe room.

Shani Goren: Yes, yes. They threw the grenade in this area and then four of them came in over here.

Ilana Dayan: And you are still lying down?

Shani Goren: I am in the bed, sitting. He makes this motion [crosses arms to form an X] – supposedly a sign of captivity. I realized this later when I reached Gaza. The guy in the house where we were did the same motion. I asked him: “What are you doing? What does that mean?” He tells me: “It means captivity.” I hadn’t understood what they wanted from me. So I resisted and every time I resisted, another one would approach me with his weapon.

Ilana Dayan: So you had four gun barrels trained on you?

Shani Goren: Yes and another one who started emptying out my closet. In the end he threw tights at me. He told me: “Get dressed.” Because I was wearing underwear, no bra, and a crop top, what I usually wear to bed. He says, “Get dressed” and points down to the flip-flops.

Ilana Dayan: Good God.

Shani Goren: Yes.

Ilana Dayan: Were they calm or nervous?

Shani Goren: He was nervous and stressed out, but he didn’t take it out on me. Agitated, he snatched the phone from my hand and pocketed it. He did this motion again [crosses arms to form an X]. Every time I said: “No no no!” They point more and more weapons at me. So I look at them in tears, in fear, begging for my life. I look at the weapon that is very close to me. And then the one negotiating with me knocked the weapon away from me. And then every time he tried to pick me up, I resisted. They just pulled me out.

Ilana Dayan: Did you manage to say goodbye to anyone?

Shani Goren: No I didn’t say goodbye to anyone. I didn’t think something like this could happen.

Ilana Dayan: And what is this room to you now?

Shani Goren: Defiled – for me it’s beyond the pale.

Ilana Dayan: It’s no longer your home?

Shani Goren: No. My home was broken on 7 October.

Ilana Dayan: You walked this way.

Shani Goren: They took me that way. He grabbed me by the hand and we walked around. We walked around so he could show me –

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: – to show her how they had conquered her kibbutz.

Shani Goren: I look to either side – there are millions of them.

Ilana Dayan: You see only terrorists.

Shani Goren: Yes, no one else. I say: “Where is the army? What’s happening?”

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: She is alone with five terrorists who take her on a kind of victory lap through the paths of Nir Oz.

Shani Goren: I see that whole row of houses torched. There were tons more there.

Ilana Dayan: Tons more terrorists?

Shani Goren: Yes.

Ilana Dayan: Meanwhile you saw no other kibbutz members?

Shani Goren: None, I only saw them, everywhere, emerging from every direction. I don’t remember where we got to, there was someone else there. I beg him: “I want a cigarette. I can’t breathe, I want a cigarette.”

Ilana Dayan: You tell him this?

Shani Goren: Yes. He tells me: “No, no there are no cigarettes.”

Ilana Dayan: Wow you are unbelievable.

Shani Goren: And then he gives me a cigarette.

Ilana Dayan: You manage to get a cigarette from him?

Shani Goren: Yes a mob passed through, he got a cigarette from one of them and gave it to me. After two drags, a huge guy with a beard arrived and yelled at me to drop the cigarette.

Ilana Dayan: No more cigarette.

Shani Goren: Yeah, no more cigarette. At a certain stage I see Doron and her daughters.

Ilana Dayan: You see they are with terrorists?

Shani Goren: Yes.

Ilana Dayan: Doron came here to visit her mother Efrat.

Shani Goren: Yes she came to visit her mom.

Ilana Dayan: I imagine you know Efrat for many years, she’s an old timer.

Shani Goren: Yes, Efrat is a neighbor of my mom. Doron as well, I knew her better when we were young.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: For the first time she sees a familiar face in this hellscape: Doron Katz with her mother Efrat holding Doron’s two small girls.

Shani Goren: She screams out: “Shani! Shani!” And I went to them, I joined them. He leaves me and I am appended to them. I took … Doron tells me: “Take Raz from Efrat so she won’t be burdened.”

Ilana Dayan: Raz is the older one.

Shani Goren: Yes, I took Raz. The girls are panicking because they don’t know what’s going on. Then ahead of us was the vineyard, that’s where they gathered us.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: Only when we see her here can we maybe begin to understand what she went through in those moments when the paths of the kibbutz where she was born and raised become the place from which she is kidnapped to Gaza.

Shani Goren: Everything was aflame. The whole way we saw burnt houses.

Ilana Dayan: They’re visible here.

Shani Goren: Yes. They gathered us here on the dirt path. There was a tuk tuk waiting on the road.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: The vehicle approaching them is a motorbike pulling a flatbed and it stops next to the terrorists. They intend to load the captives onto it when suddenly the code red siren is heard.

Shani Goren: So we ran to the shelter. There too there were a few seconds –

Ilana Dayan: With the terrorists?

Shani Goren: Yes they ran in after us. Before the code red even ended they told us: “Come on, come on.”

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: By now she is in the tuk tuk’s flatbed with Efrat, Efrat’s daughter Doron and Doron’s two little girls.

Shani Goren: We sit inside. Suddenly we see Neomit also being led. They load her in with us.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: Neomit Dekel-Chen, 63, head of landscaping at Nir Oz is already in the vehicle. Seconds later, David Cunio and one of his twin daughters were also dragged there.

Shani Goren: They try to start the engine. Suddenly we see Sharon being led with two others.

Ilana Dayan: The mother without the second daughter?

Shani Goren: Without the second daughter. And then David shouts: “That’s my wife! That’s my wife! Wait!” They load her on as well. We sit in the flatbed. The terrorists sit on the sides, they surround us, and then we start to drive. I try to stay focused for the girls, to calm them and say: “It’s okay, it’s alright.”

Ilana Dayan: But from your perspective –

Shani Goren: I’m dying of fear, it’s the worst possible nightmare.

Ilana Dayan: Are you mentally present or are you detached?

Shani Goren: Detached. Very detached. My heart is pounding horribly but it’s like I’m a different person.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: What will happen in another moment has almost never been discussed until now. The captives are already in the vehicle, surrounded by terrorists on all sides, on the way to Gaza.

Shani Goren: We exit from here, turn left, drive –

Ilana Dayan: On this path we see here?

Shani Goren: Yes we drive and then there is a right turn. And we saw nothing.

Ilana Dayan: What do you mean, you saw nothing?

Shani Goren: Nothing, no army, nada, totally empty.

Ilana Dayan: You still expect them?

Shani Goren: Yes you always expect to see them.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: She won’t see a single soldier. But suddenly from the sky, a sound is heard that sparks an ember of hope.

Shani Goren: 150 meters before the border we suddenly hear a combat helicopter in the skies.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: The combat helicopter coming up over them sees from the cockpit what he never could have imagined: streams of terrorists and Israeli civilians among them being taken captive to Gaza.

Ilana Dayan: The helicopter accompanied you for a fair while overhead?

Shani Goren: I don’t remember exactly how long, but it was there. We say: “Good, maybe the army is here. Maybe something is happening.”

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: And something in fact happens from the helicopter’s direction, within minutes.

Shani Goren: And then suddenly it opened with a volley of gunfire.

Ilana Dayan: Coming from above.

Shani Goren: Yes.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: The time is now 11:30 am. The helicopter pilot makes a decision in a nearly impossible situation. It aims gunfire at the small vehicle laden with terrorists, but also with Israeli captives.

Shani Goren: It was a terrifying moment. It lasted seconds. I lower my head. I realize my pants are all ripped and covered in blood. I raise my head and see dominoes.

Ilana Dayan: What do you mean?

Shani Goren: All the terrorists – dead.

Ilana Dayan: The second you raise your head?

Shani Goren: Yes.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: One of the captives, Doron’s mother, suffers a lethal wound from the gunfire.

Shani Goren: Sadly Efrat Katz was killed on the spot.

Ilana Dayan: Do you manage to see Efrat?

Shani Goren: Yes.

Ilana Dayan: That’s one of the memories you are trying to erase?

Shani Goren: Yes.

Ilana Dayan: To erase.

Shani Goren: To erase, yes.

Ilana Dayan: You think about the pilot and you say –

Shani Goren: Poor guy. I don’t know … I really don’t envy him. He made a difficult decision. But he almost saved us.

Ilana Dayan: Almost.

Shani Goren: Almost. We were all wounded, I was hit by shrapnel. For a second we didn’t know what to do. I took Aviv in my arms.

Ilana Dayan: The little one.

Shani Goren: Yes. David [Cunio] took Yuli, their daughter. Neomit takes Raz and we run to the field.

Ilana Dayan: How far do you think you ran? How many meters?

Shani Goren: I don’t know, not too many, but we did take some distance. We ran but Doron stayed with her mom at the wagon.

Ilana Dayan: Because Doron wasn’t capable of leaving her mother?

Shani Goren: Yes. It was not an easy moment.

Ilana Dayan: Actually Doron said in an interview with Channel 12 News: “I realized I had no way to help her, that I must stick with the girls, otherwise they’ll take me separately and them separately. So with zero energy, while bleeding, I just walked towards them.”

Shani Goren: Doron came to us white, bleeding from behind. Sharon gets up to help her. To bring her to us. Neomit is lying down, Aviv is on my lap. Aviv was wounded. One of her toes got cut in two. I took off my shirt, I put it on her foot.

Ilana Dayan: A 2-year-old girl.

Shani Goren: Yes

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: It is already just after 11:30 [am]. The terrorists that captured them were all killed apparently. Except for one [sic]. Shani and the others are still in Israeli territory, so close to Nir Oz.

Shani Goren: We run to the middle of the field and sit there, and we look at the skies.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: And the helicopter is still above them too. But it’s no longer shooting.

Shani Goren: If only his ammunition hadn’t run out.

Ilana Dayan: Is that what they told you? That he ran out of ammunition?

Shani Goren: I’m not certain it’s true, but that’s what they said.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: On the Sabbath afternoon, in the heart of this exposed field, they now realize that no one will save them. They have been left to their fate. But they all manage to take care of each other, even there.

Ilana Dayan: In all that chaos, does the thought of fleeing cross your mind?

Shani Goren: It crossed my mind. David also suggested: Maybe let’s run to the bushes? I told myself: Maybe I’ll run? Then I told myself: “How could I really run? I cannot leave the girls here. There’s no way to know what will happen. Doron is wounded – who will take care of them?”

Ilana Dayan: It sounds like your decision-making faculties are always working. What course of action is correct? Is moral? Is possible? It’s always working!

Shani Goren: Yes, but both working and not working. And then another tractor comes. Full of pillage. A kibbutz landscaping tractor.

Ilana Dayan: You recognized it belonged to the kibbutz.

Shani Goren: Yes. Neomit said: “Pretend you’re dead.” We couldn’t really pretend to be dead because we were with children. And then he stops, and motions for us to come, but no one does. He comes over to us and takes Raz from Doron, and starts to walk. That second we all got up. Then he loaded us onto the wagon. They took [pillaged] equipment off the wagon and they sat us down there.

Ilana Dayan [voice-over]: The tractor carrying eight captives is already speeding towards Gaza, leaving behind Neomit who manages to lie there without moving. Wounded and bleeding, she will crawl the whole way back to the kibbutz.

Shani Goren: We continue driving, we see a burning tank. And there is no fence. And the helicopter disappeared. It can’t be heard anymore and it can’t be seen anymore.

Ilana Dayan: And if you would meet the pilot now, what would you tell him?

Shani Goren: I would tell him: “Thank you – and why didn’t you stay?” Also: “Why weren’t you there, here, to take down everyone here? If one helicopter had fired, everything would be okay. We would never have gotten to Gaza.”

[Video is screened on a laptop]

Ilana Dayan: This is Doron, right?

Shani Goren: Yes. Yes.

Ilana Dayan: This is you.

Shani Goren: Yes, that’s me.

Ilana Dayan: And who are you hugging here?

Shani Goren: Raz. I was also trying to hide, to get inside as much as possible. At that moment my fear was that if the helicopter shot at us again and this time it is my back that is exposed. If he shoots again, it’s me who dies.