Dahan family survived Sderot rockets and a synagogue shooting

April 29, 2019 00:26
2 minute read.
A candlelight vigil is held at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church for victims of a shooti

A candlelight vigil is held at Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church for victims of a shooting incident at the Congregation Chabad synagogue in Poway, north of San Diego, California. (photo credit: REUTERS/JOHN GASTALDO)

The Dahan family fled Kassam rockets in Sderot only to become victims of two hate crime attacks in California, including the synagogue shooting in Poway north of San Diego that left one woman dead.

Among the wounded was the Dahan family’s eight-year-old daughter Noya and her uncle Almog Peretz.

Noya’s father Israel Dahan recalled for KAN News the dangers of living in southern Israel.

“A rocket fell on my house, on my parents house, my in-laws' house,“ he said in a video interview from California, in which two of his other daughters sat by his side.

“It was not a good situation in which to bring up kids,” Dahan explained. The family left when Noya was seven months old, but hatred followed them to America.

Five years ago, vandals drew a swastika on their home. Then on Saturday, when they were at the Chabad synagogue in Poway where they often attend services, a gunman opened fire.

At 11:30 a.m. in the middle of the Torah reading, the shooter came into the building wearing a hat and glasses that were too large.

“I saw him come in. I saw him shoot,” said Dahan. Aside from his family, the only other person wounded in the attack was the congregation’s Rabbi Yisroel Goldstein.

The carnage would have been worse, Dahan said. Luckily, however, “his gun jammed while he was shooting or I would not be speaking with you today.”

Noya suffered from shrapnel wounds to the leg and the face. She was treated at the hospital overnight and then released Sunday, but was sleeping at the time of the interview.

Noya’s older sister Lior survived because she initially hid in the bathroom. His younger daughter, Lian, was also in the synagogue. Lior recalled seeing her sister Noya bleeding and that her uncle Peretz had rescued them from the synagogue.

Another congregation member, Danny Almog, recalled for Fox News the chaos that occurred and how Peretz, who was wounded in the leg, had also rescued his daughter. “All I cared about was finding my kids,” Almog said. “I was on the floor crawling to go through the exit.”

Then, Almog said, “I saw my father-in-law, he was laying on one of my kids, protecting him with his body, then he grabbed him and started running. Then I was missing my daughter. I couldn’t see her anywhere. I was screaming, ‘Yuli, Yuli, where are you?’ And I was looking for her in the room and I still heard the shooting.”

At that moment, his friend Peretz said that Yuli was with him. “He grabbed all the kids in his hands and was just running towards the exit [when] he saw another kid over there,” Almog said. “He grabbed him and started running and [that’s when] the shooter shot him in the leg. He didn’t care. He kept on running with the kids.”

In an interview with Channel 12, Almog Peretz said that he had four children with him, including one belonging to a neighbor and three of his nieces. He explained that he had learned to flee from danger in his home city of Sderot where he had to run from rockets.

“I was wounded while I was running with the children,” Peretz said. “I had picked up a girl and [the shooter] aimed his weapons at me. The murderer was only five or 10 meters from me, not more.”

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