Heart attack saves man from rocket attack

Meir Dimri was with his wife in the hospital when rocket struck his home, shattered windows and killed his dog, Ze'ev.

By
August 21, 2011 22:44
3 minute read.
MEIR DIMRI shows the damage to his Beersheba home

MEIR DIMRI 311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The heart attack Meir Dimri suffered on Tuesday saved his life on Saturday night when a rocket hit the garage near his small Beersheba home.

The projectile lodged in the pavement between his home and a neighbor’s.

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It destroyed a small makeshift garage, shattered the windows in both houses, left pock marks on the walls and killed his dog Ze’ev.

But it did not harm Dimri or his wife who that night was with him in the hospital, where he was recovering from his heart attack.

On Sunday, Dimri, 56, sat on the sofa in his living room, and spoke with The Jerusalem Post about his new lease on life.

The gray-haired man wore a white knitted skullcap, a vanilla button-down shirt, trousers and Crocs.

“It was a miracle,” he said in a soft voice. He added that he struggled to say those words knowing that others in the city, and even on his street, were less lucky than his family.

“A man was killed in Beersheba.

And the son of a neighbor lost his leg,” Dimri said.

The father of five said that only two of his children still live at home, and both were also out that night.

The youngest, Kobi, 18, left the house to get a pizza 10 minutes before the missile struck.

It was neighbors who told the family that their home had been damaged, Dimri said.

First they called his children and one of his brothers, then he and his wife began getting calls at the hospital, he said.

He wiped away tears as he talked about the attack and of the loss of his dog, who he said was so smart that he almost seemed to understand people when they spoke.

“I would say the word ‘food’ and he would bring me his dog dish in his mouth,” Dimri said.

And on Friday night he would gather with the family as they said the blessing over wine, and would only leave the room once the bread had been blessed and he had received a piece of halla, Dimri recalled.

The damage to their home was so severe, that until it is repaired the family will have to stay at a hotel or with relatives, he said.

But once the damage is repaired, Dimri intends to return to his home and to the city where he grew up.

Although it is impossible to live in Beersheba without being afraid of the missiles from Gaza, there is no choice but to continue, he said.

“Where else would I go?” Dimri asked.

His story was not the only close call of the last two days in Beersheba.

On Sunday morning, a missile hit the roof of a highschool gym. It shattered windows, took off a small piece of siding and slammed through a concrete roof into a bathroom.

It left a gapping hole in the bathroom roof and in the floor below.

In the gym, rows of plastic seats were covered with dust and heavy with shards of glass.

“Fortunately, there were no injuries,” Deputy Mayor Heftziba Zohar said.

In advance of the opening of the school year on September 1, around 200 of the school’s 700 students should have been milling around the structure.

No one was there, Zohar said, because the city had canceled educational activities in light of the missile attacks that Gazans have been firing at the South since Thursday.

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