Yael, 39, a resident of the Sdei Avraham farming town in the Eshkol Regional Council,
managed to chase out a Palestinian who broke into her home and threatened her with a knife and an iron rod. She struggled with him inside the house, singlehandedly protecting her four children.
Yael's father, Danny Matzpun, told Ynet: "She pushed him into the bathroom and blocked the door using one of the kids' beds. She hurt herself during the struggle; he leaned against her and stabbed her in the face and the shoulder."
The father added: "This could have ended as a second Itamar
incident," referring to the murder of five members of the Fogel family by terrorists who infiltrated their house in 2011.
The incident occurred shortly before 4 am, when an infiltrator broke into the family home, where Yael and her four children were sleeping.
According to Matzpun, "The man walked into the home with a bar and a knife. He made it to the bedroom, where he engaged in stubborn struggle with my daughter. Her two youngest children, aged four and two, were with her in the room. Her eldest daughters were in their bedroom. She pushed him and took the kids out to the fortified space across the bedroom door. Then he started to throw objects at her, including a mirror."
Matzpun said that after his daughter trapped the infiltrator in the bathroom and blocked the door using a bed, "She used the time when he was in the bathroom to call a neighbor in an emergency squad and her husband who is an IDF
officer." At that time, however, the man climbed out the window and ran away.
By the time the neighbor, the police and the IDF arrived at the house, the assailant had already fled. The security forces then started chasing the assailant, who was caught by the troops some two kilometers from the scene. They followed arrest protocol before shooting him down.
The IDF was looking into a possibility that the man was coming from the Hubers Route, which runs along Israel's security fence with the Gaza Strip.
Or Gadashi, who lives next door to the family, and whose husband rushed to Yael's house after the latter had called him added: "We never imagined anything like this happening. Thank God it ended the way it did and that she's strong enough to deal with this."
head of the Eshkol Regional Council in Israel's south, which was targeed by numerous rockets during Operation Pillar of Defense,
noted that "The woman is a true hero; she managed to chase him away."
The councilman added that "There are many infiltrations by terrorists who are caught. This is the first time that a terrorist makes it into a house."
As for the family, Matzpun told Ynet: "No one is really panicking. My daughter is better; they stitched her cuts and the children aren’t exhibiting any signs if distress."
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