'My sister's a lioness. She dragged the kids to the shelter'

‘Hero’ mom asks for help after Beersheba home destroyed by Gaza rocket

Miri Tamano, raising three boys on her own, asks for donations to buy food and toiletries; Tax Authority and Jewish Agency say they are sending emergency funds

Israeli security forces inspect a building that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern city of Beersheba on October 17, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli security forces inspect a building that was hit by a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern city of Beersheba on October 17, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The Beersheba family whose home was destroyed by a direct hit from a Gazan rocket early Wednesday has issued a public plea for help to get back on their feet.

“I don’t have a home now,” said Miri Tamano, who managed to pull her three sons, ages 8, 9 and 12, into the apartment’s bomb shelter moments before the rocket struck. “[But] I have three children, and each one is the whole world,” said Tamano, a single mother who is raising the boys alone.

The explosion, which took place shortly before 4 a.m., knocked over several of the home’s walls and destroyed most of its contents.

“Because of her quick wits, only property was harmed,” Miri’s sister Ora told reporters Wednesday morning.

“My sister is a lioness,” Ora said. When the rocket sirens went off in the middle of the night, “she just grabbed the kids by force and dragged them to the shelter. That’s why they’re alive.”

“Right now we’re just trying to get things back to a routine, as much as possible, for the kids, to calm my sister down. Everyone is telling her she’s a hero, but she can’t stop crying.”

Ora Tamano, whose sister Miri’s house in Beersheba was destroyed by a rocket from Gaza on October 17, 2018 (Screenshot via Walla News)

Mother and sons were all taken to the hospital and treated for anxiety early Wednesday, but were otherwise unharmed in the attack.

“We mostly need basic things that will help us start over. The house is gone. Everything is gone,” said Miri.

A family member handed reporters a list of basic goods the family needed urgently, from cornflakes, canned tuna and plastic dishes to toothbrushes, underwear and socks for the three boys.

As the victim of what Israel terms a terror attack, Tamano is eligible for assistance from a special fund managed by the property tax department of the Israel Tax Authority.

Destruction is seen on a house after it was hit by a rocket fired from the Hamas-run Palestinian Gaza Strip, one of the first projectiles fired in recent weeks from Gaza, on the central Israeli city of Bersheva on October 17, 2018. (Jack GUEZ / AFP)

The department said Wednesday it would send officials to assess the damage to the home, and would transfer an initial sum of NIS 10,000 ($2,700) to the family within 24 hours. It also said it would cover the costs of the family’s hotel stay until new accommodations could be found.

Under Tax Authority compensation rules for terror victims, the government will fund the rebuilding of the Tamanos’ home, but the process will take months.

Shortly after Tamano issued the appeal, the Jewish Agency for Israel said it would hand the family a NIS 4,000 ($1,100) grant by the end of the day. The grant was donated Wednesday by the Jewish community of Montreal, Canada, to help the family cover their immediate needs.

The family is also eligible for a NIS 25,000 ($6,800) “recovery grant” from the agency’s Victims of Terror Fund, the organization said, but it was not immediately clear when the funds would be available.

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