A survivor of a Hamas terrorist attack, along with loved ones of current hostages are speaking out and calling for freedom amid the Israel-Hamas War.
The Israeli-American Council of Los Angeles held a special event Tuesday night at the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills where those affected by the war gathered.
The event’s organizers said the goal is to show the world the horror inflicted on Israel by the Palestinian terrorist group, Hamas, on Oct. 7th in what they are calling, “Black Sabbath” or “Black Saturday.”
The terrorist group has killed at least 1,400 people and captured hundreds of hostages. More than 250,000 Israelis have evacuated homes near the borders of Gaza and Lebanon as rockets were continuously fired into Israel, the Associated Press reports.
“I really believed this was the way I’m going to die,” said Ariel Ein-Gal, a 26-year-old Hamas victim. “Like, I really accepted it.”
Ein-Gal is an Israeli citizen visiting Los Angeles to share the terrifying story of how he and 19 friends escaped a surprise terrorist attack on his homeland.
Ein-Gal and other Israeli citizens directly impacted by the violence in the Middle East spoke at the Beverly Hills event while calling for the release of around 240 hostages being held by Hamas.
“I just really hope that this all ends very soon,” Ein-Ga said.
Since the Hamas incursion, about 1,400 people have been killed, triggering Israel’s response and a declaration of war.
Ein-Gal said he was partying on the beach in southern Israel near the Gaza border when all everything changed in a split second.
“I didn’t even realize what was happening until they started firing at us,” he recalled. “The second the boat started firing at us, we realized these were Hamas terrorists.”
They ran to their cars and started driving inland as fast as they could while dodging gunfire the entire way there.
“From all around, you can hear the guns shooting, you can hear the machine guns, the rifles, and you could hear it 30 or 40 meters from you while you saw dead bodies of soldiers or terrorists,” Ein-Gal recalled. “You saw it all. The terrorist from the bushes I saw earlier came out and started shooting at us. In that moment, the soldier who was guarding us just laid down on the ground, put two bullets in the terrorist’s head and finished the situation.”
But Ein-Gal explained his best friend, a girl named Mo, was not so lucky to escape.
“The road that she was driving on was already filled with terrorists, so when she got out and went back to her car, the terrorists found her and just killed her on the spot, he said. “We found her body maybe four days later.”
Survivors lucky enough to live to tell their story are grateful to be safe.
The loved ones of current hostages are grief-stricken, living with the constant agony of not knowing whether their loved ones are alive.
Believed to be a Hamas hostage, 23-year-old Romi Gonen has gone missing while her family remains distraught.
She called her father during the Hamas attack, telling him she had been shot and two of her friends had been killed. Then he recalled hearing a strange voice over the phone say, “She’s alive! Let’s take her!”
“You can imagine how our nights are,” said Eitan Gonen, Romi’s father. “We cannot sleep. We cannot eat properly, but we are stronger than ever.”
“And we need help,” Romi’s stepmother added.
The Gonens are pleading and praying for the safe return of their daughter along with all hostages in the war.
Some of the attendees who spoke at the Beverly Hills event on Tuesday night said they are hoping for the war’s end and the safe return of hostages.