The Dahan family emigrated to America after suffering for years under Hamas rocket fire, only to nearly lose their daughter at the hands of a rabidly antisemitic gunman.
The California synagogue that was shot up by a 19-year-old white supremacist on Saturday had a large number of Israeli congregants.
An American-Jewish woman was tragically killed, and the local rabbi and two Israeli congregants were wounded. Among them was 8-year-old Noya Dahan, whose face and leg was hit by shrapnel.
The girl’s family had originally lived in Sderot, where they came under regular Hamas rocket fire from the nearby Gaza Strip. Noya’s father, Israel Dahan, told Israel Radio that their house in Sderot had been hit several times, and that he had been wounded in a terrorist rocket attack.
That situation had prompted the family to leave Israel for California several years ago.
But on Saturday, the family realized that the had “come from fire to fire,” Dahan told Israel Radio. “It can happen anywhere.”
Also wounded was Noya’s uncle, Almog Peretz, who had likewise left Sderot for the perceived safety of California.
Speaking to Israel Channel 12 News, Peretz recalled, “A person with a big rifle, like an M16, entered the synagogue and started shooting everywhere. At first we thought the ceiling had collapsed, but then I turned around and saw he was aiming his weapon at me. There were many small kids next to me. I took a little girl who was our neighbor and three nieces of mine and ran. I opened the back door and we ran with all the children to a building in the back. I hid them in that building. As I picked up the girl, the terrorist aimed his weapon at me. I was injured in the leg.”
Both Noya and her uncle Almog are in stable condition.