Firebomb Victim Ayala Speaks Out for First Time

Girl critically wounded by Arab terror tells of fateful night of attack, dreams to be a writer and have her Bat Mitzvah on Temple Mount.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Ayala Shapira in a Purim costume
Ayala Shapira in a Purim costume
Courtesy of Otiot

Ayala Shapira, the 11-year-old girl who was critically burned in a firebomb attack by Arab terrorists on the family car she was in with her father outside Ma'ale Shomron in Samaria late last December, has given her first interview since the attack that nearly took her life.

Speaking to the children's magazine "Otiot" in an interview that is to be published next week, Ayala spoke about the night that rudely shifted her life from the pleasant routine of school and play into a struggle of life and death, and which has left her in a hospital bed to this day.

The Arab terrorists lobbed Molotov cocktails at the car from out of the darkness; describing the harrowing event, Ayala recalled "we didn't see anything before, it was dark. I just saw something burning fly at us and suddenly everything exploded."

Despite the blaze which turned the car into a lethal inferno, Ayala managed to break free and save her own life.

"It's kind of funny, because I'm usually not a hero. I'm even relatively a bit of a coward," Ayala admitted. "The moment the fire caught I knew what I had to do in order to live. I put my right hand into the flames to free the seatbelt. I was on automatic."

When asked what she thinks should be done to prevent such attacks, the young girl said "I don't know what I would do, but there are much better ways than to sit in quiet and wait for them to attack us."

"We need to deal with terror. If they don't deal with the problem of the terror of the Arabs it will not stop," she emphasized.

Fairies, magicians and vampires

Before the attack Ayala's greatest passion was writing, and she started from a very young age, filling numerous notebooks in the last year alone.

"In the future I plan to be a writer," Ayala shared in the interview. "It's kind of funny, because when I was six I hated to read and I hated to write, but I always loved to make up stories. I have lots of ideas and I want to publish a book."

Detailing her stories, Ayala added "most of my ideas and stories are meant for children but one of the stories I want to write is specifically for youth and adults, and I'll write it about what happened to me."

Ayala's story ideas come from her imagination, she says, noting "I love fairies, magicians and vampires, and I enjoy making up fantasy stories."

"Many times the stories and the figures that I make up are based on my friends or myself. I ask them what magical creature they'd want to be and I even thought of photographing them and integrating them in the story," she said.

Bat Mitzvah on the Temple Mount

In another three months at the end of the Jewish month of Sivan, Ayala is to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah, a ceremony signifying her coming of age and taking responsibility for her own observance of the Jewish commandments.

Ayala told the children's magazine that her dream is to celebrate her Bat Mitzvah by ascending to the Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism, together with her family.

The attack and the subsequent rehabilitation has wrecked many of Ayala's plans for the event, but she is determined not to let the attack stop her visit to the Mount.

At the hospital, the doctors estimate that Ayala will be able to return home before her Bat Mitzvah, meaning that the visit will be possible.

While the road to recovery promises to be a long one, she will be able to make it at home accompanied by her younger sisters, her books and her notebooks in which she will write her stories.


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