"We were always there for one another. She was our only fighter. She was our pride, our crown, a queen," said in tears Nofar Saroussi, a friend of Master Sergeant Hadas Malka, who was murdered yesterday during the attack in Damascus Gate in Jerusalem.
Malka's childhood friends said that after an attack in Jerusalem, they always called Hadas to make sure she was all right, but yesterday, a few minutes after she sent a selfie picture in their WhatsApp group, she did not answer the phone.
"I woke up from sleep and my mother said there was a terror attack in Jerusalem and that I should check that everything is all right," Saroussi said. "I said to her, 'What attack? Hadas just sent me a picture. Everything's fine.'"
At this point, Nofar's mother noticed that the attack was in Damascus Gate, where Malka was stationed. "I told my mother to stop talking nonsense," Nofar said. Yesterday, she did not reply and we started to write in the group and maybe she would see the message, but she just did not answer us. "
"After every attack that happened near her stationI immediately wrote to Hades to ask her if everything was all right and she would answer. Yesterday she did not answer and we started to write in the group so maybe she would see the message, but she just did not answer us.
"She used to joke (when we worried), saying 'who's going to come at me? I want to see them try.' We still feel like she is going to come in any moment now with her usual laughter."
Hadas left behind her parents, three sisters and two brothers. She will be laid to rest on Saturday at 00:30 in the Ashdod cemetery.
Malka began her service in the navy, but struggled to serve in the Border Police, where she felt she could contribute more to the country. Her uncle, Yaakov Abutbul, told Ynet that "she did not want to be in the navy, she wanted significant service, she wanted to contribute. She was extremely patriotic."
After completing her career, Malka worked for several months at the Ashdod port, but then she was offered a return to the army. She agreed and returned to the Border Police about a year and three months ago.
She recently asked to finish the service and began a fitness instructors course at the Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sports with the intention of working in the field after her release.
(Translated & edited by Lior Mor)