‘Mama, I must go – don’t worry’: last words of 17-year-old Or before he was killed on 7 October

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‘Mama, I must go – don’t worry’: last words of 17-year-old Or before he was killed on 7 October

Sabine Taasa's eldest son was murdered by Hamas. Hours later, her hero husband took the full blast of a hand grenade to save Or's two brothers during the attack on their home

Warning: This article contains upsetting images

On the morning of 7 October, Sabine Taasa recorded a video on her phone, fearing that Hamas terrorists were about to breach the family safe room in Netiv Haasara, less than a mile from Gaza.

The footage is almost too distressing to describe. On the bed, virtually unconscious, are two of her four sons, eight-year-old Shay and 12-year-old Koren, both covered in blood. Shay has severe shrapnel wounds, with one eye nearly out of its socket. Sabine is crying in sheer terror. The floor is soaked in blood.

The two boys had rushed over from the neighbouring house, where their father Gil, a senior firefighter, had been hiding with them in a shelter. The terrorists, heavily armed and equipped with parachutes, had infiltrated their moshav with a map that included the names and details of everyone in the community.

Sabine said: “They knew that Gil was head of security and would be armed. Gil was a key target.”

As the terrorists threw a hand grenade into their shelter, Gil rushed forward to save his sons’ lives by taking its full explosive force to his stomach. The murderers checked he was dead, fired another bullet into his head, then calmly drank coke from the family fridge.

Screenshot: Youtube Jewish News

Speaking to Jewish News, Sabine said: “I have now three boys. I lost my husband and my eldest boy on 7 October. I don’t have time to be in pain or crying, because I need to take care of three children and my mission is to tell the world.”

The family home and moshav at Netiv Haasara is barely half a kilometre from Gaza. At 6am Sabine and Gil’s eldest son, 17-year-old Or, left for his regular weekend walk on the beach.

Sabine said: “I was sleeping. He didn’t wake me. At 6.25am my other boy, Zohar, woke me and said, “Mama, hurry! Go with me to the safety room.”

Zohar had heard unfamiliar sounds outside the house. She told him to close the doors and turn off the electricity. It was deathly quiet.

Or and Gil Taasa.

“You could not hear the motors of the fridge. The water cooler was quiet.”

Desperate to reach Or, she took a chair, stood up and start to wave the phone above the window in an attempt to get a wi-fi connection. She managed to reach her son and asked where he was.

Sabine said: “I could hear in his voice how much he was afraid and terrified and alone. He said to me, ‘Mama, I’m here, don’t worry but something has happened. Something strange. It’s not a regular attack. It’s not a regular bomb. It’s something that we never saw before. But don’t worry Mama. I’m here with Nadav (his best friend). We are not alone we are near to the safety place with two soldiers.'”

Screenshot of Sabin Taasa’s video inside the safe room. Courtesy of Sabin.

Sabine begged him to lie on the floor. He told her: “Mama I must go. Don’t worry. Don’t worry.”

Minutes after the call Or was murdered. Six bullets to his head.

The terrorists had approached the beach by swimming and canoeing the 400 metres from Gaza.

She tells Jewish News they’d “got out from the water in uniforms, carrying RPGs, grenades and camera Go-Pros. Everything was prepared for this moment and when arrived on the sand they started to shoot everywhere. They shot children, women, fishermen and young people who had come that morning to the beach to enjoy life.”

Nineteen Israelis were murdered that morning at Zikim beach. Only one person survived, who later recounted Or’s last minutes to Sabine as they hid in a toilet.

Screenshot from Sabin Taasa video of Koren Taasa.

In the safe room with 15-year-old Zohar, Sabine heard the sound of Gil’s Gluck handgun shooting at the terrorists. She heard voices in Arabic and 20 minutes later the sound of holes being drilled in the wall.

Sabine was so terrified, she remembers making animal sounds out of pure fear.

A neighbour tried to come to their rescue with a machete. “He was murdered, bleeding out for two hours because we didn’t have help. No police. No ambulance. No IDF”.

Eventually, she heard Shay and Koren outside calling for her. Going outside, despite her other son fearful that it was a trap, Sabine saw “my two little boys, bleeding from the head to the feet. One had his eye out of his socket.”

They told her: “Daddy is dead. Why didn’t they kill me?”

Somehow she found the strength to carry them both to the safe room.

Eventually, soldiers arrived and took them to an armoured Jeep. Sabine rushed away to see Gil’s body for herself.

“I found my husband lying in the entrance of the shelter, with a lot of blood. He was lying like an angel. I took him and kissed him and cried. I asked him to wake up. He didn’t wake up.”

Sabin Taasa and her family. Courtesy: Facebook

Now living in Netanya, Sabin said: “I am a refugee. I don’t have my life, my friends, my community. I lost everything and now I’m trying to get on with my life from the beginning. I don’t have time to think why it’s happened to me. This is not my mission. My mission is to take care of my three boys and of me and tell the world what happened.”

Shay is now blind in one eye from his wounds.

Determined to “help him to find the best doctors in the world”, Sabine says it’s not just a physical problem, “it’s a moral and mental mental one. My boys are very confused. They are so alone. They don’t believe they will ever find happiness again.”

She adds that one of the reasons she’d brought them to London was “to show them that life is not only terror. Real life is people that want to help us . That everyone wants to live in peace. We don’t want wars. I want to show them that we have a future, that we have the possibility to continue life without terror.”

“My older son was my twin. Emotionally, we were the same. I cannot accept his death. I cannot go to the cemetery. I cannot look at the pictures because for me it’s as if he’s coming back. I feel Gil when I’m talking about him.”

Father and son Gil and Or Taasa were buried side by side on 18 October.

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