Family that moved to the US after surviving Oct 7. on Kibbutz Be’eri sees ‘no reason’ to return to Israel

Dekel Shalev, whose family survived the Hamas massacre at Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7, in a Channel 12 interview on July 10, 2024 (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)
Dekel Shalev, whose family survived the Hamas massacre at Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7, in a Channel 12 interview on July 10, 2024 (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

Dekel Shalev, who survived the October 7 Hamas massacre in Kibbutz Be’eri, tells Channel 12 that she moved her family to the United States in the aftermath of the terror onslaught and that right now, she doesn’t see any reason to return to Israel to live.

Shalev, her husband and their three children, ages seven, five and three, were at home on the morning of October 7, when Hamas terrorists breached the border fence and poured into Israel’s southern communities.

The family hid inside their saferoom for 15 hours during which Hamas terrorists entered the house four separate times.

She says that her family only survived “due to luck” as the terrorists tried to break into the room where they were sheltering, but gave up without trying to shoot through the door.

Following their evacuation from the kibbutz, they were placed in a hotel near the Dead Sea, but after two days, they realized they still didn’t feel safe.

“We didn’t want our children to have to live in fear,” she says, explaining that they would never have been able to process the trauma of October 7 and move forward if they stayed in Israel.

The family is still connected to the Kibbutz Be’eri community, says Shalev, who is visiting Israel for her father’s birthday. During her ten-day visit, she says she returned to the remains of her family’s home in the kibbutz, for the first time since October 7.

“It wasn’t an easy experience,” she says. “It was strange, a whirlwind of emotions.”

As of now, Shalev says her family doesn’t “see any reason” to move back to Israel, and adds that both her extended family and her husband’s family are displaced across the country, with no indication as to when they’ll be able to return home.

Asked if she thinks that decision will change in the future, Shalev seems certain that it won’t.

“I think that for as long as my children are of the age that I make decisions for them, the answer is no,” she says. “If my kids want to return when they grow up, that will be up to them.”

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