Eliyahu Kamar from Or Yehuda searched for his missing son all night, calling hospitals and hoping against hope as the hours dragged by with no word that he would find him among the wounded.
When he could not find his son at any hospital even after authorities said all the wounded had been identified, he began to fear the worst.
He got in his car and drove to the Abu Kabir Institute of Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv, where officials were calling on families to come identify the bodies of those killed at Meron.
It was then, as he stood outside Abu Kabir, that he got the call: His son had just walked into the house and gone to sleep after a long night on the roads trying to leave the Meron area.
“Everything is okay, praise God,” he told reporters at the scene. “He couldn’t call because he was stuck on the buses up there and the phone lines had fallen.”
Cellphone networks in the area collapsed overnight under the strain of calls from families seeking their loved ones.
Kamar said he knew he was one of the lucky ones.
“I just want to send my condolences to families that didn’t get to be where I am. My heart, my heart is with them.”
אליהו קמר מאור יהודה נכנס לפני שעה לאבו כביר. אחרי לילה ארוך בו לא איתר את בנו אסף בשום בית חולים, היה בטוח שהוא מגיע לזהות את גופתו. לפני 5 דקות קיבל טלפון: עוד אסף חי.
— ישראל פריי (@freyisrael1) April 30, 2021