Israeli Single Mom After Rocket Attack: ‘Nothing Left, Not Even Memories’

'I have no house or memories left,' Miri Tamano says, after her home in the southern city of Be’er Sheva was completely destroyed by a rocket

A home in Be'er Sheva damaged by rocket early on October 17, 2018.
Eliyahu Hershkovitz

Miri Tamano said her home in Be’er Sheva was completely destroyed by the rocket that hit it Wednesday.

“I have no house or memories left,” she said. “The kids have nothing.”

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The lives of Tamano and her three children, ages 9, 10 and 12, were saved because they were able to get to the home’s reinforced room in time. The home has been declared uninhabitable.

The Jewish Agency promised the family an immediate aid package of 4,000 shekels ($1,100) and said the Jewish Federation of Montreal would contribute toward an additional grant of 25,000 shekels.

“We are missing basic things,” Tamano said. “Our closets were all full but nothing remains. We don’t even have a basis, not even a bed remained.”

Her sister Vera Tamano said they had spoken before the attack as the warning sirens blared. “My sister called to make sure we were in the safe room. She sounded more hysterical than usual. I told her all was fine, the sirens would wind down and we would return to routine. She said, ‘I think it hit near me.’ I rushed to her home to see what happened, and I saw the extent of the disaster when I got there.”

Vera Tamano said her sister had not yet digested what had happened. “I don’t think she really understands the extent of the disaster. ... Nothing is left of the home but the safe room, which is what saved them. She’s like a lioness. She’s special. The way she behaved was exemplary.”

Shrapnel that fell onto the Tamanos’ home also struck the home of their neighbors, the Goldsteins, who are still coming to grips with the shock they experienced.

Nurit Goldstein said she had her husband Moti got themselves and their children into the reinforced room in time. “There was a siren, then we got to the safe room and heard a huge blast,” she said.

“The rocket hit our neighbors’ house, and our balcony collapsed. Luckily we managed to get to the safe room beforehand. I have three children including a 3-month-old baby. The kids are still in shock. I’m still waiting for it to blow over.” But she worries the situation will deteriorate further.

“I’m sure there will be a response and that makes me anxious,” Goldstein said.

“The lesson is that it’s essential to go to the safe room. The shrapnel hit near the children’s beds,” Moti Goldstein said.

“I’m afraid,” their son Nadav, 7, said. “I’d rather go to school than for something like this to happen. I heard a boom and it frightened me. I want the shooting to stop.”

Nadav described Wednesday’s incident. “Mom woke me up and took my sister. I ran downstairs to the safe room and then my mom came quickly with the baby. As soon as she shut the door we heard the rocket and then I started to be afraid, I felt a little pressure in my chest, and that was all.”

A neighbor said the blast was very loud. “I’ve never heard such a thing in my life. We went outside to look for the interception and there was a burning odor. We followed the smell until on a parallel street we saw the house that was hit.”

Saguy, another neighbor, said “we heard a really loud boom, at first we thought it was from afar and then we saw police vans and understood it had happened right here.”Neighbor Adir Basees described how they helped extricate the children from the damaged home.

“We ran here with the Border Police officers and rescued the children. We lifted them out over the fence,” she said.

In announcing the aid package for the Tamanos, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog said the organization, through its Terror Victims Fund and its housing company, Amigour, will continue to aid the residents of the south and the Gaza border area to cope with the damages inflicted by waves of terror.

“The Gaza border communities are Israel’s defense wall on our southern border. I would like to commend and encourage them for their extraordinary resilience, as well as to express support for the army and all the security forces,” Herzog said.