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EXCLUSIVE ALL ISRAEL NEWS REPORT: Messianic pastor and family flee southern border, read their story here

The family hid in their bomb shelter while Hamas terrorists roamed the streets of Sderot, killing indiscriminately

Pastor Michael Beener and his wife Dinah are the founders of City of Life, a Messianic congregation in the southern city of Sderot near the Gaza Strip.

The couple has invested many years in the community, Michael having lived there for 17 years, and his wife Dinah for some 23 years.

Despite frequent rocket attacks from Hamas during their time in Israel, they had never fled the city before, however, all of that changed on Saturday morning.

Sderot was one of the 22 border communities attacked by Hamas terrorists during Saturday morning’s invasion and massacre.

When the air raid sirens sounded early on Saturday morning, the family entered their bomb shelter, expecting only to be there a short time until the sirens ended.

But that morning, Beener and his family waited out the invasion in their bomb shelter for hours before fleeing the city of Sderot ahead of the buildup of Israeli ground troops, and the possible ground invasion of Gaza.

The pastor described the situation on Saturday morning:

“I was supposed to wake up at 6:30 a.m. for a scheduled morning prayer, but the Lord woke me up at 6:00. At 6:20, missile attacks began. Around 6:40, for the first time in our life here in Sderot, we heard shouts of ‘Allahu Akbar,' and shots of automatic weapons outside,” Beener related.

“Our kids were in a panic as we sat in the shelter room. After 15-20 minutes, I received horrible photos of the terrorists driving and walking down our streets shooting at people, cars and at the windows of residential buildings.”

The horrors did not stop there, as the streets outside soon became a battleground, Beener explained.

“On our street, literally meters away from our building, a bus stopped to let people out, so they could run to the shelter place. Unfortunately, a pickup truck with Hamas terrorists was passing by at the same time. They opened fire; several people were murdered instantly,” Beener shared. “The same was happening in other neighborhoods.”  

They heard the cries of their neighbors as they lay dying in the streets.

Pastor Beener and his wife said, for the first time, they felt afraid for their lives.

Finally, after several hours, IDF military soldiers and Israeli security forces arrived to begin the work of clearing out the terrorists.

“Then our soldiers came and started to go building by building, including ours, searching for terrorists hiding inside. The info came that they might be hiding in the supermarket in front of us, and this is when Dinah, my wife, got a panic attack, for the first time in her life.”

However, Beener and his family continued in prayer, together with other members of their congregation.

“We had a Zoom service at 11:00 and started praying. All of a sudden, all the shootings calmed down and silence remained for an hour or so.”

Anti-terror activity continued in Sderot until Monday evening when the IDF announced that all terrorists had been eliminated from the southern border communities.

The Beener family endured a full day without water or electricity before gathering a group of members from their congregation to flee the city.

As they were preparing to leave, another round of sirens came, forcing them to, once again, take shelter.

Part of an Iron Dome missile that successfully intercepted a Hamas rocket fell from the sky and landed just next to their van, damaging the door but sparing the tires.

The family was finally able to leave together with their congregation members to seek refuge farther north.

ALL ISRAEL NEWS helped Pastor Beener and his family find a place to stay as they now continue to wait out the conflict.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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