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Gem of the Hills

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In the News:

Shalom to all our friends overseas,
October 2003
My name is Orna Mimran, I'm married to David and we have 8 children- Dina & Shaked are twins, 15 years old, Moria is 13, Rivka is 11, Shachar 9, Eliyahu- 7, Tamar 5, and Leah 3.

I was born in a kibbutz Kfar-Hanassi in the Galillee. David is from Jerusalem. When we finished our army service, each one of us started travelling around the world with his friend. I started in the U.S.A. I even visited L.A. Then to the far east. David and I met in Thailand on a wonderful island. That was 17 years ago. Since that day, thank god, we are together. We continued together to Japan, Nepal, and over there discovered our true Jewish roots. We returned to Israel, and got married in Kfar Hanassi. When we went more steps to become more religious, we moved out, and continued looking for a life with more meaning.

David Mimran with pupils We found ourselves in Itamar, when it was just 5 years old, (in Samaria),with about 30-40 families. We liked the atmosphere, the people and the natural life. Most of the time we had a quiet, interesting, and meaningful life. We were very busy with developing organic agriculture, in hothouses, and marketing them to nature shops. David was studying more about Judaism and was very content. By the years the children joined us, and kept us busy and happy. I must say that we didn't come to Itamar because of political reasons, though I know you can't trust the Arabs, we never did anything against them. In the beginning we had good relationships with the Arabs. Over the years, the security situation became worse. People got hurt on the roads. The last 2 years were horrible. Good friends were killed. Other friends of ours became widows and orphans. Our children were exposed to a terrible situation created by their friends that lost their father or mother.

A year ago, we had a nightmare, when a terrorist got into our neighbor's house, and killed the mother Rachel Shabo and 3 children. My daughter Moria's best friend, Avia, was hiding under her parents' bed hearing her family getting killed, and the terrorist sitting on the very same bed, loading his gun. She was saved. My children were alone that evening. David was on guard duty at the gate, and I was working in the hothouse, cooking strawberry jam . Dina and Shaked were not at home, so Moria (12 yrs) and Rivka (10 yrs) had to deal alone with that event, that took hours. I went to a neighbor, whose husband ran out to help, and got shot and killed, leaving her alone with 5 little children. All this, broke our heart.

Our project these days was a little mini-market grocery in Jerusalem, that we just started to run. Our children used to be alone during the years that we were working so hard in the agriculture, decided to spend their vacation with the grandparents. A day before, they packed their stuff, waiting on the road with their bags. When David came from work at22.00 he took them to Tiberias (2 hours drive), where the parents waited, and got back at 02.00. The children were thankful to him.

That terrible night, the day after, we both came back late to Itamar. Aterrorist with 2 knives managed to enter our home looking and stabbing all the children's empty beds. Then he came to our room. I slept near the door, but he went over to David who woke up already wounded, by 16 knife stabs, all over his body (thank God it was "only" knives). I woke up watching this horrifying picture. David's face was full with blood, and the "monster" attacking him. It took me seconds to understand what we are dealing with. I knew we had to work together to stop this danger. Our experience traveling together and always working together saved us.

I said : "hold him", and David woke up realizing it's not a dream, and strangled him with the hand that was less wounded, and with the other- pressed his fingers at the terrorist's throat. David held him down to the floor, but he continued struggling, so I tried to take the knives out of his hands, but he gripped them too tightly, so with the knife still in his hand, I pushed it into his arms and face. After maybe 10 minutes he stopped fighting. Thank God, we managed to overcome him. We ran out for help. Then we realized that David is wounded pretty badly, and I a little bit. We were both full of blood. After 2 days in the hospital, David realized, where he took the idea of strangling with his fingers. As a teacher he teaches the pupils how in the temple the priests slaughtered birds by sticking their fingers in the birds' throat. That's what he knew, and that's what he did. God was with us. That's what kept David and me alive.

David is recovering, and fortunatelythe inner parts of his body are O.K. We are trying to get out of the horrifying nightmare. We didn't go back to Itamar. We left everything behind, our home, work, friends, children's school friends and felt like refugees. Both our families were shocked, and are doing their best for us. Now we are trying to continue. We are going to move up north, nearer to our family, and hope God will give us quietness. We need to get over this.

We love each other. We love our children, and try and give them what they need. We have to overcome disagreements. All Jews should love each other. So I was excited to hear that overseas you think about us in Israel. You can tell this story to every one. We need more braveness at this mixed time. We are sure in the end it will be O.K, We all should be strong now.

I want to thank you all, so much, for the concern shown by the One Family organization. I can understand now all the stories from Jewish history, what all anti-Semites have done to us. We have to be together, all Jews everywhere, because only being united will keep us alive.

We thank all, and love you. From:
Orna, David, Dina, Shaked, Moria, Rivka, Shachar, Elyahu, Tamar and Leah

Matan Zagron, 22, from Itamar
Matan Zagron was about to assault the terrorist and took the brunt of the explosion, said his friends in the Nahshon Battalion, where Zagron served as a sniper officer.
Two weeks ago he celebrated his 22nd birthday. His friend Oded Ronsky, who had spent the last few hours before the terrorist attack with him, said Matan's dream was to serve in the Shin Bet. His father, Benny, who works in the research institute of Ariel's college, was in Psagot, another West Bank settlement, when he was called by Rabbi Avi Ronsky of Itamar to the gas station after the attack.
Matan's mother, Varda, is a school teacher in Ariel's Nahsholim school. The Zagron family moved to Itamar about 12 years ago from Tkuma. Matan studied at Itamar's high school yeshiva Hitzim, and took the pre-military course in the Jordan Valley's Hemdat. He joined the paratroopers, became an officer and moved to the Nahshon Battalion.
Benny Zagron said Sunday that his son was a serious man who did not shirk from responsibility, "a leader type, with lots of motivation."
Oded Ronsky said that only a couple of days ago Matan had parted from his friends and needed cheering up. "I drove him in the morning to the gas station, where he was supposed to meet his soldiers to take them to training drill. He was in good spirits when we parted. I didn't imagine it was the last time I would see him. He passed a lot in his short life and we will miss him very much."
Matan Zagron's funeral will be held at 11 A.M. Monday in Itamar. He is survived by parents Benny and Varda and four brothers and sister.
from "Ha'aretz Monday, October 28, 2002 Cheshvan 22, 5763 "

Itamar Infiltrator Killed
(from Arutz 7 30/7/02)
The Shomron community of Itamar has become a target of choice for Arab terrorists.
In the third incident in past several months, late last night an Arab armed with knives, succeeded in infiltrating the community, and broke into the home David and Orna Mimran.
The couple awoke when the Arab entered their bedroom, and a struggle ensured.
During the encounter the Mimrans managed to kill the terrorist with his own knives, but not before David was stabbed in the chest and arm.

David [in photo with students] was transported to Petach Tikvah's Beilinson Hospital where he is listed in moderate condition from his knife wounds. Orna sustained only light injuries during the confrontation.

click to hear Yaakov Hayman describe the attack

( 06:09 Jun-21-02, 11 Tammuz 5762

The Shabo Family, in a 4 year old picture:
(from above right)- Rachel [killed], Avishai [killed], Boaz, Meir, Yariv
(bottom)- Avia [wounded], Tzvika [killed], Asael [wounded], Neria [killed], Atara
Rachel Shabo and three of her children were murdered by terrorists who infiltrated into the Shomron community of Itamar on Thursday night. Also murdered were three of her boys, Nerya, 15, Tzvika, 12, and Avishai, 5, as well as a neighbor Yossi Twyto, who responded to assist in saving the family.
Among the wounded is another child of the family, a 10-year-old boy in serious condition and his sister, 13, with moderate-to-serious chest wounds.
hear interview with
Leah Goldschmidt,
during the attack:

download [1.3 MB]

Joseph Twito z"l

from Jerusalem Post May. 29, 2002:
[click to view Arutz 7 video report]
Three yeshiva high school students were killed late last night and two were wounded when a terrorist infiltrated the community of Itamar, near Nablus, and opened fired near the yeshiva.
The community's security guard, Aryeh Kleiman, spotted the terrorist and shot and killed him.
The terrorists shot two of the yeshiva students as they were playing basketball outside Yeshivat Hetzim, and then entered the building and shot the other three, one of whom also died. The two wounded students were 14 years old.
Security forces searched the community to determine whether more than one terrorist participated in the attack. Residents were asked to remain inside their homes. The army dispatched a helicopter to airlift the wounded to the hospital.

Aryeh Agrnioni z"l

Gilad Zar z"l

Meir Lixenberg z"l

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