The British immigrant to Israel whose house was decimated by a Gaza rocket on Monday has recounted his experience watching the harrowing attack unfold as he raced to bring his family members to shelter.
In an interview with the UK’s Jewish Chronicle on Monday, Robert Wolf of Mishmeret, an agricultural community located between Netanya and Kfar Saba in central Israel, said warning sirens went off at 5:20 am, telling residents of an incoming rocket attack and that they should head toward bomb shelters.
Wolf was outside at a neighboring housing unit trying to get his sister to a shelter when he saw the rocket striking his home. His wife Susan, a teacher at a school in Ra’anana, was on the way to the shelter from the kitchen when the rocket fell. Their son Daniel was already in the shelter with his wife and two daughters at the time.
“There was a boom, then quiet and dust everywhere, and then screaming. It was terrible,” Daniel explained. “I got my wife and daughters out and then saw my mother lying there and I could see she was bleeding. I picked her up and just talked [to] her until the ambulances arrived and took us all to hospital.”
Susan remains moderately wounded at Beilinson Hospital in Kfar Saba, while Robert, Daniel and Daniel’s two-year-old daughter were released, according to the Jewish Chronicle, which also reported that two other family members and a neighbor are still in hospital with minor injuries.
Looking at the site that was once his home, Robert’s son, Yoni, said about the house “[it was] my parents’ Zionist dream, but it will be rebuilt.”
“We live in Israel and I can’t say that I believed this would happen,” added Yoni. “But it’s always there. I haven’t got a shred of desire for revenge, but the [government] policy isn’t working. I’m not saying what has to be done, but sanity must be restored.”
On Monday afternoon Robert placed an Israeli flag over the ruins of his home and told journalists who had gathered at the site of the attack, “with all the games of politicians and all of them blowing out their chests and saying they’re all wonderful people and they’re all great people and they’re all going to save us, this is the real price. And I just paid it. And I nearly lost my family. And if we hadn’t got to the bomb shelter in time, I would be burying all my family.”
“That’s two nechadim, two grandchildren — one five months, one two years old. That’s my third child with his wife, my wife, myself and my daughter, my youngest daughter. They would all have been dead if we didn’t do what we were supposed to do.”
He added, “I want to say to everyone, when you hear the siren, get to the Mamad,” referring to the reinforced safe room required in all homes by Israeli law. “It saved my family. That’s all.”
The Israel Defense Forces said the rocket that struck the Wolf home was fired from a Hamas position in the area of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip. The IDF also confirmed that the rocket was manufactured by the Gaza-ruling terror group.
Robert and Susan Wolf emigrated to Israel from London 30 years ago. They share their home in Mishmeret with their children and grandchildren.