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‘Help us,’ 10-year-old girl texts mom after terrorists kill her father

Dariya Karp and her little brother narrowly escaped death at Kibbutz Re'im.

Reut and Dariya Karp after the ordeal. Credit: Courtesy.
Reut and Dariya Karp after the ordeal. Credit: Courtesy.

For most of the three-hour call, the only sounds that punctured the eerie silence were the deep breaths drawn by the mother and her 10-year-old daughter.

Minutes before Dariya Karp picked up the phone at Kibbutz Re’im on Saturday morning, the girl saw Hamas terrorists break into the home and murder her father, Dvir, and his partner, Stav.

Dariya and her younger brother Lavi were visiting for the weekend. 

“Mom, they murdered dad and also Stav,” she texted her mom from the sealed room. “Help us.”

Reut, her frantic mother, was hours away in central Israel. Eight minutes earlier, she had gotten word from her ex that Palestinian terrorists had overrun the border community.

She tried to calm her daughter as she desperately messaged security officials and everyone she knew in Re’im for help.

“Mom, when are they coming? I can’t take anymore,” the girl told her mom.

“You have water, right?” Reut responded.

“Yes, but I can’t get to it because the bodies are here,” Dariya responded.

“Don’t look at the bodies,” her mother said.

“And you are not alone, right? Lavi is with you, right?”

“Yes.”

“Mom?” Dariya asked. “Yes,” her mother responded. And then again, “Mom?” “Yes.”

“We’ll be there soon,” Reut promised.

Break-in

Dvir had awakened Dariya and instructed her to go to the sealed room along with her 8-year-old brother, who is on the spectrum. The father soon followed.

“I asked him why he brought an ax and a knife, and he said in case something happened,” Dariya later recounted.

She fell asleep in the bed in the sealed room only to wake up to see her father and Stav fighting with terrorists.

“They shot him in front of my very eyes,” the 10-year-old said, as her mother clutched her in her arms. “He managed to hit one of the terrorists, but they still killed him and his partner.”

Dariya hid in the bed and covered herself with the blanket. One of the assailants lifted up the covers but then put them back on top of her.

She then used WhatsApp to reach her mom using her dad’s phone.

“It was a moment I cannot describe,” Reut Karp said. “It was like a conversation with—I don’t know—like from the Holocaust.”

The Karp family. Credit: Courtesy.

Rescue

Karp’s mother had reached a friend from the kibbutz who was armed and promised to go get the kids.

Her terrified daughter kept hearing noises in the house.

“Shush. Don’t talk,” her mother instructed her.

The attackers used Stav’s lipstick to scrawl on the wall in Arabic that Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades doesn’t kill little children.

However, in the nearby Kibbutz Kfar Aza, the corpses of Israeli babies, including some with their heads cut off, were found after the terrorists were defeated there.

Finally, as gun-battles raged outside, the neighbor arrived at the house and was able to secure the children. Lavi, who had remained silent during the whole ordeal, began to speak to his mom on the phone.

“It was the worst Shabbat in my life,” Dariya said. “I was afraid I would never see my mom again and that I wouldn’t see anyone again.”

“I told her you would not die,” her mother said. “You will not die.”

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