As rockets rained down on Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip Monday night amid an intense flareup of cross-border violence, one couple decided they weren’t going to let Palestinian terror ruin their special night.
But Yael and Raziel Huri, whose wedding was held in Ofakim as planned, feared many guests would cancel due to the difficult security situation.
“There was a lot of worry,” Raziel told Hadashot TV news later. “We thought of maybe moving it Beersheba.”
The most recent round of violence began on Sunday night when an Israeli special force operating deep inside the Strip was uncovered, leading to heavy exchanges of fire and the death of an Israeli officer as well as a senior Hamas terror commander and six other Hamas gunmen.
This was followed by some rocket fire, but its extent was limited, the army’s Home Front Command did not issue special orders for Ofakim and the couple did not suspect for most of Monday that their wedding would turn into a potential source of danger for their guests.
When barrages started in the afternoon and did not let up, the couple weighed their options.
Located around 20 kilometers from the Strip and about halfway between Gaza and Beersheba, Ofakim is not in the immediate Gaza vicinity. However, it was still a location Israelis would think twice before visiting during a major escalation.
“Around the afternoon it seemed it would be canceled,” Yael said, but the couple was encouraged by their families and friends as well as staff at the venue to move forward. “Everyone was supportive…from beginning to end.”
Not everyone came “but the majority” did, Yael said. “Most of them surprised us and made us happy and came.”
Raziel added that, as the party raged, “no one was afraid, everyone was happy and joyous.”
The couple said they were very moved by the dedication of their families and friends who came to celebrate with them despite everything.
“Despite everything that happens, the people of Israel persevere and no matter what, no one will prevent us from being happy,” Yael said.