Female sniper: I didn’t think twice
Soldier who killed terrorist recounts events leading to attack on Egyptian border; says ‘I did what had to be done.’ Meanwhile, it has been revealed that another female soldier hid behind bush during incident, was feared to have been kidnapped Yoav Zitun.
As the story behind last week’s deadly terror attack on the Egyptian border unfolds, Corporal S., who has been commended on her performance during the incident, recounted the chain of events for the first time.S. said that even after seeing Corporal Netanel Yahalomi shot dead in front of her, she did not hesitate to attack the terrorists.
“I didn’t think twice. I jumped out of the hummer and did what had to be done. I ran under fire until I reached Netanel, but when I saw his condition, I told my commander there was nothing we could do to save him and we must move on,” she said.
S. explained how it all began: “All of a sudden we heard a female soldier shout on the radio ‘We’re under fire.’ I then told the driver to drive to her location. We didn’t know what to expect. It was the battalion’s first encounter with terrorists.”S. said that while driving to the scene, she thought of her parents. “I was also worried about the soldier on the radio. The whole unit deserves praise, not just me. It takes a lot of courage to remain calm under pressure.”
After Yahalomi was killed, S. managed to kill one of the terrorists who was carrying powerful explosives. “One of the terrorists exploded right in front of us,” she said.S. then managed to make her way to one of the injured soldiers Mati Yalovski. “I told him to stay strong and most importantly stay awake.”
S. finally said that she was very proud of herself. “It is a privilege. Not everyone goes through such an ordeal.”
Corporal S. further said that she did not always want a combat position in the army. “Initially, I wanted to be a paramedic but I later realized that I wanted to have a combat role.”
She emphasized the importance of serving in a combat unit and contributing to the State of Israel.
Not so heroic
Meanwhile, as the investigation continues, the IDF has learned that not all soldiers followed protocol during the incident: One of the soldiers, who was afraid of facing the terrorists, hid behind a bush throughout the attack and stayed there even after it ended.
According to the investigation, the soldier was in a patrol jeep when the shooting began. She immediately called it in and informed her superiors. While other soldiers were under fire, the soldier in question hid behind a large bush for an hour and a half.
Shortly after the attack, as the unit commander began “counting heads” in order to see if all members of the unit were there, they were stunned to realize that one of their own was missing.
They immediately thought that she had been kidnapped by the terrorists and taken into Sinai.Helicopters and search units were immediately called to the scene to search for the missing soldier. She was later found by her commanders, dehydrated behind a bush.
The soldier said she was afraid to shoot back at the terrorists out of fear a “gun fight” would commence. “I thought I didn’t have a chance against them.”The soldier was reprimanded by her commanders shortly after.
An initial military investigation launched into the incident reveals that the terrorists took advantage of the arrival of African infiltrators and the fact that IDF soldiers left their post to offer them water. The terrorists then emerged from their hiding spot, approached the four fighters who remained at the post and opened fire, killing Yahalomi.