Hamas war crimes: An elderly group gunned down at a bus stop

Among those murdered were some in a group of seniors on their way for a day trip to the Dead Sea; they were ambushed by a group of Hamas terrorists who gunned them all down
Roni Green Shaulov|
With each passing day, the gruesome details of Hamas' deadly assault on communities bordering Gaza by Hamas come to light. During Hamas terrorists' invasion on October 7, some 15 adults and senior citizens, including some Holocaust survivors, were brutally murdered in Sderot. They had been en route to a day trip to the Dead Sea.
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"They stood no chance," said Alon Friedman, the son of 60-year-old Valeri who lost his life in the terrorist attack. "He was looking forward to a leisurely day at the Dead Sea, hoping to take a break from work."
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ולרי פרידמן
ולרי פרידמן
The late Valeri Friedman
"He was part of an organized group, all members of which were aged 60 or older, some even in their 70s, including Holocaust survivors. The minibus began picking up passengers in Ofakim, then moved on to Netivot, and finally arrived in Sderot. It had just pulled up in front of the municipal library to fix a flat tire. That's when the sirens started blaring," he said.
"They likely laid there for about ten hours before their bodies were retrieved. It's possible that some were initially alive but didn't stand a chance due to the passage of time." He said that there were 19 people scheduled to be on the transport. However, due to the alerts, some hadn't been picked up yet and returned home. The driver of the minibus, who was an Arab citizen of Israel, survived the massacre. "Presumably, he shouted something in Arabic and they spared his life. My father's body is unaccounted for. I was unsure if it had been taken or what exactly had happened, so I established a sort of command center," he said.
"I was able to contact most of the families of those who were on the minibus and spoke to the brother of the surviving driver. I published a post on Facebook that reached a wide audience, connecting me with other families searching for their loved ones. I eventually managed to reach the person who coordinated the transportation, from whom I obtained the names and contact details of everyone expected to be on the transport."
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הטבח הקטלני בשדרות ב-7.10.23 היום הראשון למלחמת חרבות ברזל
הטבח הקטלני בשדרות ב-7.10.23 היום הראשון למלחמת חרבות ברזל
Remnants of the massacre
"We've felt as though we've been in mourning since Saturday. There was no one available for us to consult or talk to. We were continually referred from one entity to another, amidst total chaos. We felt alone throughout these days. Until we received the official confirmation, that our father was dead, we weren't truly able to function. It was a period of sleepless nights. We were desperate to know what happened to the body, longing to lay our father to rest."
Valeri Friedman is survived by three children and two grandchildren. Alon, speaking about his father, said, "Dad was likely the funniest man you could ever meet. He got along with everyone and was exceptionally kind. We never saw him argue or turn down a request for help. He was always there for his grandchildren and everyone around him."
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