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Bay Area family that escaped Israel worries about loved ones still there

A South Bay family that was in Israel when Hamas attacked last weekend managed to get back to the Bay Area, but they can’t stop worrying about their other family members still in the warzone.

Rinat, who grew up in Jerusalem before moving to the Bay Area, is still recovering emotionally after she and her family escaped from Israel shortly after Hamas mounted the terrorist attack.

The family was in Israel visiting relatives and seeing the sights.

“It was an amazing moment,” Rinat said. “For me, it was like a dream come true to take them to the most holy place.”

Then everything changed.

“We heard the bombs,” Rinat said. “That’s how close it was. We heard the bombs.”

Rinat, having grown up in Jerusalem, said she knew how to react to the attacks. She quickly herded her family and other hotel guests to safety.

“Come on, dress up, no time to talk, take your parents, we’re going to the bunker now,” she said.

The family spent five hours in the bunker before heading to the airport to catch a scheduled flight back to the Bay Area.

“They canceled the flight,” Rinat said. “I spent six hours yelling and going crazy because I knew that if we’re not coming back we might be stuck in Israel for a long, long time.”

While she worries for her family back in Israel, Rinat said she’s been in regular communication with them and that they’re safe and in good spirits for now.

That made her feel better until Hamas made their declaration of a day of jihad Friday.

“They just asked to slaughter us all over the world,” Rinat said. “On one hand I’m super scared, but then I’m also a very firm believer in God and I know that we are strong.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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