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Woman canceled trip to Israeli festival before attack, lost friends

The U.S. woman, who has lived in Israel for eight years, has now been called up to serve in Israel's reserve military.
Woman canceled trip to Israeli festival before attack, lost friends
Posted at 4:23 PM, Oct 11, 2023

Watching the violence unfold in Israel and Gaza is concerning enough as is.

But for one Suffolk family, the concern has been amplified with fear for their daughter’s safety and well-being as she hunkers down in a bunker for cover.

"It just feels like a movie," Hannah Yarow, a Virginia native, said.

Yarrow has been living in Israel for eight years.

She says her life in Israel has been nothing short of spectacular — interrupted by terror after Hamas targeted civilian sites and massacred hundreds of people at a music festival near the Gaza Strip.

"I was actually supposed to go there and then, like very last minute, I decided not to," she said.

Yarrow said her last-minute decision spared her life, but not some of her friends.

"There was just like a bunch of trucks lined up with machine guns on the trucks, just started shooting at them and they shot up like all the cars," she said.

SEE MORE: What are Israeli forces up against?

Days later, the violence continues to escalate.

Meanwhile, Yarow's mother, Heather McAfee, says she feels powerless knowing she is thousands of miles away in Virginia.

"It's been a really rough few days," McAfee said. "You know, we feel helpless."

McAfee said her worries have only grown, especially now that Yarow was called up from the reserves to join the fight.

"I don't know what I'm going to be doing," Yarrow said. "I don't know where I will be. I'm not really sure. Like, they just kind of tell us, like to pack a bag for 21 days."

Yarow is one of some 300,000 military reservists who have been called upon to support Israel.

Ben, Yarow’s brother, said he couldn’t be prouder of his sister’s bravery.

"Definitely my hero, and I love her very much" he said."I love you, Hannah, very much."

This story was originally published by Erin Miller and Brianna Lanham at Scripps News Norfolk

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