On Friday, what should have been a routine drive turned into a nightmare for Zachy (Zakiel) and Na’ama Choory, a husband and wife from the Gush Etzion region south of Jerusalem. The couple was attacked by terrorists as they drove toward Jerusalem, and a firebomb hurled at their car during the attack caused it to become engulfed in flames.
Zachy and Na’ama narrowly escaped with their lives, and both were burned. Thankfully, their young children were not in the car, having just been dropped off at daycare.
Zachy recalled the attack in an interview Sunday with Galei Tzahal (IDF Radio).
“There was a tremendous ‘boom’ and we didn’t understand what had happened,” he said. “Then I saw my wife start to catch fire.”
“I saw her going up in flames, I saw the whole seat, the whole area where she was sitting start to burn,” he recalled.
“The firebomb left trails of fire behind it and as I tried to pull her toward me, I, too, was burned by the firebomb, which had fallen between our seats.”
It took several seconds to free Na’ama from her seatbelt, he continued. “When I got Na’ama out of the car she and I started to put her out… Na’ama was screaming, ‘My stomach is burning,’ she could feel herself burning even after we put out the fire.
“I felt the burns a little, but she felt it over most of her body,” he added.
Zachy immediately tried to call for help – only to discover that there was no cell phone reception in the area. Residents of the region have warned on several occasions that the lack of cell phone reception along local highways could lead to tragedy – particularly in areas frequently targeted by terrorists.
“I think it’s a serious oversight that there’s no reception in that area,” Zachy said.
Help finally began to arrive 20 minutes after the attack, he related. The couple was taken to a Jerusalem hospital, where Zachy was treated for light burns and Na’ama was admitted in moderate condition.
“My wife is recovering psychologically,” Zachy reported. “Physically, we think it’s going to take a month or two.”
He linked the near-fatal attack to the government’s decision to release over 100 Palestinian Authority (PA) Arab terrorists from prison as a “gesture” to the PA.
“The recent incidents of firebomb throwing and the like in this area started after the recent ‘gestures,’” he stated. “Until the most recent terrorist release, things like this weren’t happening at this frequency.”
“You always think it’s far from [affecting] you – and suddenly you’re in the middle of it,” he warned.
Earlier, Choory took the mayor of Efrat to task for suggesting that the attack in which he and Na'ama were injured was not terror-related. He revealed that a member of the Shin Bet, Israel's internal security service, had told him personally that the incident was definitely a terrorist attack.