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Like all Gaza periphery residents, Oz Davidian and his family were woken in their home of Moshav Maslul by the first air raid sirens on the morning of October 7. They immediately went into the apartment’s protected space, but quickly realized that this was no “standard” event of battle and missiles. Oz received a warning message from his brother-in-law who lived on a farm adjacent to the Re’im music festival: “Tons of wounded kids here. Who can help?”

Arriving at the rave grounds, Oz could not believe what he saw. He had never imagined coming across such harsh, cruel sights. He began collecting the wounded into his car and realized that he would need to rely on his senses, and his lifelong familiarity with the region.

Oz escaped on winding dirt paths, navigating as bullets whistled around him and terrorists shot at him nonstop. Returning fire with his own gun, and a rifle he took off a terrorist, he also ran some of them down with the vehicle: anything to bring these young people, who shortly beforehand had been partying, to safe haven. When Oz finally reached his sister’s home in the adjacent Moshav Patish, he realized that he couldn’t leave the rest of the young people behind. So he returned. He made the trip 15 times, from Patish to the rave site and back, saving some 120 people on that horrific Shabbat. Risking his life time and time again, he eventually made it home, alive and well, to his wife and four daughters, the youngest being just two years old.  

In Oz’s story we see a shining example of the selfless good-heartedness and bravery typical of Am Yisrael, the people of Israel. A regular Israeli chose to risk himself and go out into a war zone without any certainty as to whether he would return, simply to try and save the lives of others.

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