When Yael Matzpon heard the door open at 3:30 AM, she thought it was her husband returning from his job in the IDF. But when the door flung open and the light flicked on, she found herself face to face with a knife-wielding Palestinian terrorist from Gaza. Lying next to her in bed were her four and half year-old daughter and two year-old son. In a room close by, her eight and nine year-old daughters lay sleeping.
“‘What do you want, I asked him. Money, food?’ I got up. He told me to get down on the floor. I knew I wasn’t doing that.”
And so began a fight to the death between an unarmed 39 year-old mother of four and an armed terrorist in Sde Avraham, a moshav in southern Israel’s Eshkol region near Gaza; a mother who knew that only she stood between him and the slaughter of her innocent children. “He pushed me down and started to slash me,” she told Israel’s evening news. “And I thought: ‘Now I’m going to feel what it’s like to be slashed, just like you see on television.'” As she speaks, we notice the long scar on her cheekbone, the tear in her skin under her eye and on her chin, evidence of the deadly weapon which sought to take away her life and the lives of her children.
Yael, an Olympic-level horse trainer in dressage, who learned kravmagah during her army service, didn’t panic. Instead, she threw everything she had at him, punching him in the face and eyes and nose, scratching and jabbing him — not as if, but because — her life, and the lives of her children depended on it. He began to throw things at her, a mirror, a scale, but missed. She took the moment to lead her small children to safety, sending her daughter to her sisters, and putting her little boy into the bomb shelter and locking the door. She picked up a large heavy metal bell, used to start horse competitions, and used it to pummel him out of the room and into the adjoining shower. She then locked and barricaded the door, flying to the kitchen to call her husband and a neighbor who was a sharpshooter.
Probably realizing he had stumbled on a tigress he couldn’t overcome, the terrorist jumped out of the window and ran. He was soon spotted and shot by the IDF, which although it responded with lightning speed, had allowed the terrorist to infiltrate in the first place. Ynet has revealed that a section of the security fence guarding neighborhoods close to Gaza was left open and unmanned, allowing the terrorist free access. New “agreements” with Gaza now allow Palestinians to work the fields right up to the security fence. Such is the decision of our politicians.
If not for the courage, strength, and level-headedness of this Israeli woman, the photos of Jewish children butchered in their beds would be splashed across the Israeli papers instead of the photos of campaigning politicians. Only Maariv put Yael and her heroic battle on its front page. Yediot Aharonot put it on page 25. As for the foreign press, I didn’t read a single word about how an unarmed mother fought off a knife-wielding terrorist to save herself and her children. And what could be more newsworthy than that? Except, of course, if your paper doesn’t really rejoice in such a victory and would rather print the blood. I have two words for the foreign press, and they aren’t “happy birthday.”
G-d bless Yael Ram-Matzpon and all our Israeli women, mothers and soldiers, who are sometimes forced to be both at the same time in order to protect themselves and their children with bare hands, from marauding, barbaric terrorist murderers who seek out babies in their beds. This time, though, the murderer got more than he bargained for.