On October 7, Israel Police officer Sapir Cohen woke up to the blaring sound of rocket sirens, immediately sensing that something was amiss. As WhatsApp messages flooded in from her colleagues at the Sderot police station, describing terrorists opening fire at them, she wasted no time and swiftly made her way to them.
Departing from her home in Moshav Zimat in the Gaza border area, Cohen headed towards Sderot. However, as she neared the Gevim intersection, she came under heavy gunfire.
Determined, she pressed harder on the gas, clutching her weapon tightly. Despite the terrorists’ relentless barrage of bullets, she managed to evade them and reached the Sha’ar Hanegev intersection, where she faced a crucial decision on which path to take. Opting to continue straight, Cohen soon encountered a roadblock.
“I thought they were police officers, but to my horror, they turned out to be terrorists,” she recalls.
Despite the perilous situation, she accelerated towards them. “One of the bullets hit the engine, causing the vehicle to halt. Realizing I had been wounded in the leg and was bleeding, I decided to exit the car,” she recalled.
Wounded in the leg by Hamas terrorist gunfire
With bullets whizzing past her, Cohen sprinted towards Sderot. “I leaped into a nearby roadside ditch and saw two murdered civilians. Treating my injury as best as I could, I soon realized I could still run. It was then that I noticed terrorists near Sderot.
“However, due to my limited ammunition, I couldn’t enter the city.”
Undeterred, Cohen summoned her strength and, despite her injury, made her way towards the industrial area of Sha’ar Hanegev. “As I arrived at the factory entrance, I spotted a figure that initially seemed suspicious. I instinctively drew my weapon, only to discover it was Reuven, a factory guard. He helped me as we headed towards the factory.”
Cohen promptly contacted the police and MDA (Magen David Adom) who advised her to remain in place.
“I felt a wave of dizziness and feared losing consciousness at any moment,” she confides.
Grabbing an LED light vest, Cohen attempted to stem the bleeding. She then reached out to the Sderot Municipality call center, connecting with Mayor Alon Davidi.
“He understood the gravity of my situation and offered guidance, patching me through to a medic who provided instructions. The mayor told me not to go outside, assuring me that help was on the way,” Cohen said.
Insp. Shay Samadja from the municipal police personally contacted Cohen, deciding to head in her direction along with Elad Bohdana and Pavel Ostrykov. In a courageous act, they rescued Cohen amid the ongoing shooting in the city, leading her to fully comprehend the magnitude of the disaster that unfolded in Sderot.
“We serve together in the same unit, and they saved not only me but also the factory’s security guard,” Cohen said. “They are family to me, and I will forever be grateful.”
The Jerusalem Post and OneFamily are working together to help support the victims of the Hamas massacre and the soldiers of Israel who have been drafted to ensure that it never happens again.