For one family who witnessed the weekend attack on their San Diego synagogue, it was not their first encounter with terrorism.
A lone terrorist entered the Chabad of Poway Synagogue in San Diego Saturday and opened fire on Jews celebrating the last day of Passover. He killed one woman and wounded several others.
The Dahan family left their neighborhood on Israel’s border with the terrorist enclave of Gaza years ago after tiring of the constant rain of rockets from Palestinians militants there. They never believed they would make the move only to find they were dodging bullets from a terrorist attack in America.
The Dahan family’s eight-year-old daughter Noya and her uncle Almog Peretz were injured in Saturday’s terror attack.
CNN reports that Noya was injured by shrapnel. Her uncle, who was visiting from Israel, was shot in the leg while trying to shield her. She was treated at a nearby hospital and released Sunday.
“We’re shocked,” Noya’s dad, Israel Dahan, told CNN on Sunday.
The Dahan family thought they were safe after leaving Israel eight years ago. They lived in Sderot, a community near Israel’s southern border that faces daily threats of Hamas rockets.
“(We were) under the impression that everything is good here. Today we noticed this is not even close to be regular life,” Dahan said.
One of the congregants told Fox News how Peretz saved not only his niece, but several other children.
“He grabbed all the kids in his hands and was just running towards the exit [when] he saw another kid over there,” Danny Almon said. “He grabbed him and started running and [that’s when] the shooter shot him in the leg. He didn’t care. He kept on running with the kids.”
Almog Peretz told Israel’s Channel 12 that he learned how to run away from terror by running away from Hamas rockets in his hometown of Sderot.
“I was wounded while I was running with the children,” Peretz said. “I had picked up a girl and [the shooter] aimed his weapons at me. The murderer was only five or 10 meters from me, not more.”
Unfortunately, this isn’t even the first time the family has experienced anti-Semitism in America. Five years ago, someone spray-painted a swastika on their home.
Israeli president Reuven Rivlin said the shooting attack in California is another painful reminder that anti-Semitism and hatred of Jews is still thriving.
“We are again telling the world, there’s no community that can say it is clean from anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism destroys every good part, anti-Semitism, racism, the hatred of others and religious war, when we are all praying to God, who is one God to us all, creator of the universe and man,” Rivlin said.
The synagogue attack happened a few days before Israel pauses to observe Holocaust Remembrance Day from Wednesday evening to Thursday evening.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the international community isn’t doing enough to combat anti-Semitism.
He is due to convene a special discussion this week on the upsurge in anti-Semitic attacks around the world.