Nine months after Israel and Palestinian terror groups in the Gaza Strip waged a brutal 11-day conflict, a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor who was critically wounded when her Ashkelon home took a direct hit from a rocket passed away in the hospital overnight Sunday.
Pearlman, who was widowed by her husband in 2004, was living with her caregiver Soumya Santosh — a 32-year-old Indian national.
On May 11, 2021 — the second day of hostilities, the two were sitting at home when Gaza terrorist groups fired a volley of rockets at the southern city. Pearlman and Santosh did not make it into the bomb shelter when the rocket crashed into their home.
Santosh was killed on the spot. She has been working in Israel for eight years and is survived by her nine-year-old son who lives in India.
Pearlman was critically wounded in the attack and both her legs were amputated.
"Since the attack nine months ago, mother has known ups and downs," her son Shuki told Ynet after she passed away. "She fought for her life and faced a grave injury. She lost both her legs. Her condition worsened and she underwent many treatments. Unfortunately, we saw her situation deteriorating, but she fought for her life and even managed to communicate a little."
Pearlman was born in Poland. She fled the country with her parents during World War II. They wandered the European continent for years in search of asylum. They ultimately returned to Poland after the end of the war just to learn that nothing was left of the family's property.
They immigrated to Israel in 1950 and settled in Ashkelon. She is survived by her two children, eight grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
She was laid to rest in Ashkelon Sunday afternoon.
The war, which began on May 10, 2021, ended 11 days later, on May 21, with a unilateral ceasefire: Israel stopped launching airstrikes and terror groups in the Strip, notably Hamas and Islamic Jihad, stopped firing rockets and mortar shells. Thirteen civilians were killed in Israel during the fighting, along with one soldier, and over 250 Palestinians were killed, roughly half of whom the IDF believes were combatants.