Wounded Israeli woman recounts the crush and fear of Barcelona attack
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'I fell, and many people fell over me and just ran me over'

Wounded Israeli woman recounts the crush and fear of Barcelona attack

Edna Hajaj, from Beersheba, sustained minor injuries in aftermath of truck ramming, says she was lucky her husband was there to save her

Tourists wait for the police to allow them to come back to their hotel on the Las Ramblas boulevard after a van plowed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others in Barcelona, on August 18, 2017. (AFP/JAVIER SORIANO)
Tourists wait for the police to allow them to come back to their hotel on the Las Ramblas boulevard after a van plowed into the crowd, killing at least 13 people and injuring around 100 others in Barcelona, on August 18, 2017. (AFP/JAVIER SORIANO)

An Israeli woman who was lightly wounded during the Barcelona terror attack on Thursday recounted the moments when the truck driven by an Islamic State terrorist ploughed into the crowd.

Edna Hajaj, resident of the southern city of Beersheba in her 50s, was flown to Israel and treated at the Soroka Hospital in her home town. She was released from hospital on Friday afternoon.

“We were on vacation, me and my husband in Barcelona. We got there on Sunday and yesterday was supposed to be our last day there,” Hajaj told the 360 news website. “We decided to go to a restaurant before we went back to Israel and before going in decided to go into the market that is adjacent to the kosher restaurant. Just as we entered, only a minute or two, we heard tires screeching and objects being dragged on the ground.”

“We understood within seconds that it was a terror attack and we started running. We didn’t know where it came from, we didn’t know where to run or what to do. We started running and everyone ran with us. I fell, and many people fell over me and just ran me over. Until my husband managed to drag me out I was hit in my ribs and had some toes broken. It was terrible,” said Hajaj.

Hajaj and her husband did not have time to take their suitcases from their hotel, since the road leading there was blocked. She and her husband landed in Israel on Friday at 6 a.m.

Spanish policemen stand guard on the Rambla boulevard in Barcelona on August 18, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO)
Spanish policemen stand guard on the Rambla boulevard in Barcelona on August 18, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO)

“The hotel where we stayed was right by where the attack took place and we weren’t let into the hotel because they blocked the entire road. So we just went on the plane and left all our things at the hotel. We only took off at 1 in the morning because they waited for many more Israelis, some of which never came,” said Hajaj.

Hajaj sustained multiple bruises but no cuts. “I have many dry wounds, I am supposed to have a plaster cast done and I hope it’ll be OK. It hurts all over. We were on holiday and these were our last two hours there. We are happy it ended like this and not worse – if my husband wasn’t there I’d be completely run over. So many people fell on top of me I couldn’t even get up.”

Also Friday the Foreign Ministry said there was now only one Israeli citizen listed as unaccounted for, however, they said the chances he was one of the victims of the attack was increasingly slim.

Immediately after the attack the ministry had a list of 28 Israelis feared missing, but they had managed to make contact with all but one.

Israel’s envoy in Spain, Daniel Kutner, told Israel Radio that diplomats had been dispatched to hospitals to ensure no Israelis were among those hurt or killed.

At least 14 people were killed in the terror attack and dozens more were wounded. Spanish police are still looking for the man who was driving the truck.

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