“I received my “Tsav 8”, mobilization order, Saturday October 7 at lunchtime. The same evening I was at the northern border,” explains Moshe, 66 years old and a volunteer reservist as reinforcement in an infantry unit. “It’s been 26 years since I passed the age of being a reservist! I prefer to be an actor than a spectator. As I speak to you, here in the north of the country, we are not yet at war. But, if the north ignites, then there will also be a third front in Samaria (West Bank Editor’s note). » Half an hour from where he is, Moshe’s eldest son, 26, a paratrooper, is also a reservist. And his second son, 20 years old, is doing his military service in another combat unit in the West Bank. Moshe has fought several wars including the two Lebanese wars (1982 and 2006), but for his two boys, this will be the first.
Like Moshe, many reservists who were over the age limit volunteered. Sometimes the same as those who, a few weeks ago, in the demonstrations against the current Israeli government, proclaimed that they would no longer make their reservations. “But they are not doing this for the government, they are going there to save their family’s skin,” emphasizes Léa, 33, very angry. “In twenty-four hours, this Hamas attack caused more deaths than the Six-Day War in 1967. What is this army that sees nothing coming and takes three days to arrive on site to fight the terrorists who massacre women, children, the elderly. There will be a before and after October 7. Me, if I survive this war and if my companion comes back, I will leave the country. »
Hundreds of thousands of families await the return of reservists
Yérosalemite, Léa now lives in apnea. Her fiancé, 37 years old, mobilized on October 7, is in a locality near the Gaza Strip, a region that she knows well having herself served at the Kissoufim post, around ten years ago. ‘years. His role was precisely to observe the surroundings of the security barrier to detect any suspicious activity. “On Saturday, the soldiers stationed there were all killed. For me, who had my eye fixed on this border for two years, what happened is totally incomprehensible. »
Like Léa, there are 360,000 families waiting for the return of one of their own requisitioned by the army. Reservists can be mobilized up to 40 years for combat units, 45 years for non-combatants and 54 years for officers. One of them, Eddy Cukierman, 58, stopped his reserves three years ago. But two of his three sons are in the army. He is torn between two feelings. “On the one hand, I am worried because they are in dangerous units. So I try to be in contact with them as soon as they can, sometimes it annoys them!, he confides with a smile. On the other hand, I am very proud of my sons, who serve their country – one is a reservist, the other is doing his service. They are very motivated. » As for Eddy, he went to the United States to collect donations for the Sar-El association which supports the volunteers who have arrived in their thousands to support the IDF.
Nicole, 76, lives in Tel Aviv. Originally from Paris, she has been living in Israel for thirty-eight years. She has never seen such horror and trembles for two of her grandsons – she has three – who, at 21 and 23, are doing their military service. “There is always a danger, but there, since the beginning of this tragedy of cruelty reminiscent of Nazism, I have had a knot in my stomach, like all the families in the country. And it’s only just beginning because this war is going to be long. We don’t know precisely where they are or what they are doing, but on the first day, one of them was sent to the south of the country and two of his friends died fighting against the terrorists. » An alert sounds. Nicole ends the conversation quickly. In Tel Aviv, she has sixty seconds to take refuge in a shelter.