GRAPEVINE - A survivor of the Oct. 7 attacks in Israel met with supporters in North Texas Monday, sharing his personal story of evacuating a wounded brother from a community just miles from Gaza, as Hamas gunmen fired at their speeding car.
Dr. Yftach Gepner and his brother both survived the harrowing drive, and no one in moshav Ein HaBesor was killed in the attack, thanks in great part, Gepner said to his brother closing the gates to the community just two minutes before terrorists arrived.
A small group of about a dozen people in Grapevine listened to him recount the attack, following with questions about what the farming community and families need now, as many of them live out of a hotel in the southern part of the country.
Gepner's stop was organized by CityServe, a non-profit group that has "adopted" the 1,100 residents of Ein HaBesor in an effort to provide basic needs like laundry services, clothing, food, education for children and other necessities in the months ahead. They planned eight flights over six days, stopping in Nashville, Phoenix, Miami and other cities before Gepner returns home to his family.
"Just the fact that people here want to support us brings me strength," he said Monday. "And coming back home and telling them there are so many people, so many communities that want to support us, that will support us."
People attending wiped away tears at times, watching video of the gunfire at the gates of the moshav, and residents pleading at the end to viewers "Please don't forget us."
Mel Conaway, who was in the audience for the appearance, said hearing the account from someone who experienced it first-hand was different than reading reports about the attack. Repeating those accounts will be important she believes to solidifying support for Israel in the months ahead.
"They need to be reminded 'Hey this is a real thing.' This is an ongoing thing, it's not just going to disappear. This is going to be here with them for a while."
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