The IDF looked after and protected an infirm 72-year-old Gazan woman, Nahala, who was abandoned when her family left for the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
In video footage, it is clear that the soldiers, with army doctor Gedalya Pandel, went out of their way to ensure that she was safe, despite finding herself in a battle zone in the Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City.
The footage also shows Palestinians leaving the area in an orderly fashion, carrying improvised white flags to make it clear they are not terrorists. Some are seen interacting with the military to help the soldiers find a wooden cart to enable the woman to be evacuated to the south.
Her family moved out before the battles began. Subsequently, Pandel and the soldiers, who took control of the area, provided her with food, blankets and assistance.
“The family members abandoned her in front of us when she couldn’t move by herself,” Pandel related in a conversation from Gaza. “For two days, we brought her blankets, a mattress and food. We tried to evacuate her to the Red Crescent to transfer her to the hospital—without success. We even talked a bit. She told me her name is Nahala; I told her my name is Gedalya, which means ‘God is great,'” he recounted.
“I found this wooden cart you see in the video and brought her to a place from where she could join the evacuees. I saw people passing by her while she sat on the ground, ignoring her, so we forced them to take her with them,” he said, describing the difficult reality of fighting in a civilian area.
The elderly Palestinian woman felt secure next to the soldiers who helped her during that time.
When asked how he feels, as a resident of a border community that experienced the horrors of Oct. 7 and knowing that this woman likely cheered the terrorists, Pandel responded, “It’s not easy, but it comes naturally. I guess she was happy and dancing on the same day they murdered our people, but we are not them; I felt sorry for the people I saw leaving their homes with their children.”
Originally published by Israel Hayom.