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October 7 survivor recalls moment husband jumped on grenade to shield sons amid Hamas attack

4 June 2024, 19:13 | Updated: 4 June 2024, 19:46

Israeli soldiers patrol in the Moshav Netiv HaAsara in southern Israel near the border with Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the October attack
Israeli soldiers patrol in the Moshav Netiv HaAsara in southern Israel near the border with Gaza Strip in the aftermath of the October attack. Picture: Getty

By Christian Oliver

An October 7 survivor who watched her husband jump on a grenade to shield his two sons from the explosion during Hamas' onslaught on their village has told of the horrors of the militant group's attack.

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Hamas fighters stormed Sabine Taasa's village of Netiv HaAsara near the Gaza border last year before killing locals.

Ms Taasa's husband Gil, a firefighter, grabbed his handgun to fight back, but the militants lobbed a grenade at him.

The widow recalled how her husband "saw the grenade next to him" and "understood he didn't have time" before the explosive would detonate.

"He said to the boys before he took the grenade: 'I'm not afraid to die, don't worry, everything's gonna be okay, I love you and remember it and at the first moment you can, run very fast to your mum' and then he exploded," Ms Taasa told LBC's Tom Swarbrick.

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She continued: "The boys understand they're alone, they don't understand the situation yet but they understand their father is not alive and they must run away very fast but the terrorists kidnapped them [after] almost 20 minutes.

Ms Taasa said her youngest son Shay was "in shock so didn't cry".

Her middle son, Koren, then "started to have a dialogue with the terrorists" and pleaded with them: "Please don't kill my mother, kill me, kill me, don't kill my mother. I want my mother. Why did you kill my dad? Why? Tell me? I'm just a child. You're not supposed to kill a child".

During Hamas' attack her oldest child Or, 17, was also shot dead on a nearby beach. The mother only found out about his death that evening. She buried him two weeks later only when officials were able to identify the bodies.

Ms Taasa's youngest child is now blind. She said he "cannot be a normal child".

A Jewish settler carries an Israeli flag during a protest along the barrier near Netiv Ha'Asara, on the border with Gaza
A Jewish settler carries an Israeli flag during a protest along the barrier near Netiv Ha'Asara, on the border with Gaza. Picture: Alamy

"It's not fine to say that [the October 7 attack] didn't happen," the mother continued.

"The world (doesn't) understand our situation, [on] the same day we lost so many children, women, babies, men and everything and we cannot explain it [in] words, we cannot explain the pain and the fear we had from that day.

"It's not good but when someone films it and puts the film live on Telegram or Instagram and shows to the world how it's fine to kill [a] child, the point of view you have, it [changes]".

Hamas's attack on October 7 was the largest the country has faced in its 76-year history. The onslaught resulted in the deaths of some 1,160 people.

Israel responded with military action soon after the attack which resulted in the deaths of more than 35,000 people, mostly women and children.

People visit the site where revelers were killed and kidnapped on Oct. 7 cross-border attack by Hamas militants near the kibbutz Reim in southern Israel
People visit the site where revelers were killed and kidnapped by Hamas militants near the kibbutz Reim in southern Israel. Picture: Alamy

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