Gan Shmuel attack
Gan Shmuel attack Magen David Adom

Orel Ozeri, the 20-year-old soldier seriously injured in a car-ramming and stabbing near Gan Shmuel last month, has spoken out for the first time about the attack and her recovery. 

"I was in a coma for 13 days, sedated, breathing through a ventilator and teetering between life and death," Ozeri told Yedioth Ahronoth. "It was a miracle [I survived.]

"I was training near Hevron and made my way back to my base in the north," she recounted. "I was waiting at a bus stop near Gan Shmuel when I saw an elderly couple. I gave them my place to sit, and in the meantime spoke on the phone with a friend." 

"When I hung up, the terrorist rammed into me hard."

The terrorist, a resident of Umm al-Fahm, drove his car quickly toward the bus stop, ran over Ozeri, got out and stabbed three other people before he was neutralized by security forces. 

"I felt the blow and flew a couple meters forward," Ozeri described. "The terrorist hit me several times with his vehicle and the next thing I remember is all the people around me at the hospital in the intensive care unit. I was in shock. I woke up to a completely different reality."

According to Ozeri, the terrorist tried to run her over because she was wearing a uniform. "The police told me he tried to kill me, but I can't be killed that easily," she said, laughing.

"I don't call our army the IDF. I call it the Israeli Defense Forces," Ozeri emphasized. "I really love our country. I wanted to enlist, to be a combat soldier since I was a little girl. I already want to return to the army."

Ozeri still has a long battle back. With doctor's encouragement, she got out of bed and into a wheelchair for the first time over the weekend, taking in some air outside of the hospital. 

"I fought to be a combat soldier, and now I'm fighting to return to my life. I will continue to fight. It still hurts a lot, but the main thing is that I'm alive. Right now, I can't walk, but I'm certain that I'll stand on my two legs once again and show everyone what I'm capable of."

"I really want to return to my routine, to my house and friends, but I believe I will return to being a combat soldier," Ozeri declared. "I wanted to be the first female IDF chief of staff and no terrorist will ruin my plans."