Shai Sasson
Shai SassonArutz Sheva

Shai Sasson, a resident of Kibbutz Nir Am near the Gaza border, spoke with Arutz Sheva - Israel National News from a hotel in Tel Aviv, where he was evacuated with his family members after the murderous terrorist attack by Hamas on Simchat Torah.

"We left the kibbutz at the end of the first day of the war. Part of the kibbutz was evacuated in a more orderly manner. We are in a kind of recovery and are starting to digest a little of what was there," he says.

Sasson recounts his ordeal: "It was terrible. A crazy barrage the likes of which I don't remember in the 17 years I've lived in the Gaza region. During the barrage, we realized that something else was happening. The messages start to arrive, and we realize that something terrible is happening here that has never happened in the State of Israel. We started to close and lock our doors and windows, turned out the lights, and went into our bomb shelter. I took knives into the shelter with us, and we prayed that it would be okay. None of us knew what was happening; the communication network had collapsed, and there was no contact with the outside world. We understood only that no one was coming to help."

"Around nine-thirty in the morning or ten in the morning, I found out that one of my good friends, the head of the Shaar HaNegev Council, Ofir Liebstein, was murdered outside his home. The messages come in, and you try to work automatically. At first, we didn't know enough about the dimensions of the disaster."

To the question of how to move on, he answers: "We win day after day. We don't look too far. We look at the next twelve hours, and then another twelve hours, and another twelve hours. Small victories, as they say. We win the day. Nobody tries thinking too far ahead. We are also not in a place where you can think too far ahead and hope it will be alright because now nothing is alright."