Barkan terror survivor: I'm not a hero, I was lucky

Vaturi said she did not recognize the assailant and has never seen him before.

October 8, 2018 14:23
2 minute read.
IDF and Magen David Adom at the sceneof the terror shooting in the Barkan industrial Zone

IDF and Magen David Adom at the sceneof the terror shooting in the Barkan industrial Zone. (photo credit: HALLEL MEIR/TPS)


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Sara Vaturi, 54, the only surviving victim from Sunday’s terrorist attack at the Barkan Industrial Park, recounted her ordeal to Israeli media from her room at the Beilinson Hospital in Petah Tikva ahead of her release on Monday.

“He stood in front of me and shot me,” she told reporters.

The suspect, identified as 23-year-old Ashraf Walid Suleiman Na’alwa, shot Vaturi and killed Kim Levengrond-Yehezkel, 28, of Rosh Ha’ayin and Ziv Hajbi, 35, from Rishon Lezion on Sunday.
Vaturi said that after a colleague ran into her office shaking, “I went out of my office to see what happened.

“I didn’t hear anything outside, and when my colleague came into the office, I assumed she wasn’t feeling well,” Vaturi said. “So I went out to see what was going on – he stood in front of me and shot me.”

After Vaturi was shot, she huddled under her desk to hide from Na’alwa and attempted to stop the bleeding. “I ran away to my office, hid under my desk and just breathed,” she said. “Then I heard four or five loud shots. I looked from under my desk and saw his legs, jeans and sneakers, and within seconds he disappeared.”

Na’alwa had a permit to work at the Barkan park where he had been employed as an electrician for the past seven months at a factory run by the Alon Group. Israel is searching for him with the help of Palestinian security forces. However, Vaturi said that she did not recognize him and had never seen him before.

She said that several minutes later, two colleagues came from another part of the factory and gave her first aid until the paramedics arrived.

Vaturi’s voice cracked as she explained the moment she learned about the deaths of her co-workers. “They told me that Ziv and Kim were no longer alive, and they didn’t stop helping me until the paramedics arrived,” she said. “Those people were not human, they were angels.”

Having only worked at the factory for five months, Vaturi spoke warmly of Levengrond-Yehezkel and Hajbi. “Kim was a young mother, always smiling and showing photos of her son,” she recalled. “Ziv: a charming man and a great father. I met his children when they were on summer vacation.”

Thankful for her survival, Vaturi explained that the bullet entered and exited her body without hitting any vital organs and that she would be going home later that same day.

Tovah Lazaroff and Anna Ahronheim contributed to this report

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