Greek who returned from Israel talks about the terror he experienced - "I walked for 40 minutes in a war zone"


Timon Loutriotis, who spoke on SKAI's program The Misfits, was one of the 81 Greeks who returned to Greece from Israel after Hamas started a war on Saturday morning.

He explained that he had gone to Israel with his friends on vacation for five days and had to walk 40 minutes through a war zone until he was safe. His friends have also arrived in Eleftherios Venizelos Athens Airport and Thessaloniki Airport.

"Things are difficult in Israel. It was truly an unprecedented experience; there was fear, terror..."

He then talked about how it all started.

"At 6:45, the sirens started sounding, and from then on, panic set in; we didn't even know where to turn, we didn't know where to go, our phones weren't working, so we started too and acted on our own," Loutriotis said.

As he then explained, he and his group had to stay in an accommodation in Tel Aviv.

"We are five Greeks staying in an accommodation in Tel Aviv. My friends and I were terrified. I decided to find the embassy ​​to see if they were open because they didn't answer the phones. I went from there and continued to the airport. I walked for 40 minutes, and there was non-stop shelling.

"At one point, I overtook some cars, I begged them..."

As he said, when he arrived at the airport, there was panic; sirens were being sounded, and they were put in a shelter to protect themselves...

Meanwhile, Israel has retaken control of all communities around Gaza and there is no ongoing fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas militants inside Israel, the Israeli military said on Monday, following continued assaults by both sides.

The announcement by Israel Defense Forces (IDF) spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari came more than 48 hours after Hamas launched a surprise assault with thousands of rockets and sent armed fighters into Israel.

Israel on Sunday formally declared war on the Islamist militant group Hamas after its fighters launched an unprecedented attack that has so far killed more than 700 people in Israel. Israeli jets continued to bombard the Palestinian enclave of Gaza on Monday as the war entered its third day.

More than 430 Palestinians, including dozens of children, have been killed and nearly 2,300 wounded, according to authorities in Gaza.

An incursion by Gaza militants of this scale has not been seen in Israel since the nation’s founding in 1948.

Earlier Monday, as Israeli forces battled to expel the last assailants, Hamas launched a fresh barrage of rocket attacks. Sirens warning of incoming rockets in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv sounded at noon local time.

Hamas militants claimed late Sunday to be holding more than 100 hostages in Gaza, including high-ranking Israeli army officers, according to Mousa Abu Marzouk, chief deputy of Hamas’s Political Bureau.

Videos on social media showed militants capturing multiple civilians, including children, as Israeli families across the nation made anxious pleas for the safe return of their loved ones.

In addition to Israeli captives, there are also other nationalities believed to have been taken hostage, including American, Mexican, Brazilian and Thai nationals – further complicating Israel’s response to the Hamas attack.

For now airstrikes have been the primary retaliation measure within Gaza itself, with Israeli jets repeatedly pounding the heavily populated 140 square mile coastal strip, turning multiple buildings to rubble.

The IDF says it has been hitting Hamas, destroying around 800 targets and killing “hundreds” of fighters, wounding thousands and capturing scores of others, spokesperson Hagari said Sunday.

Tens of thousands of people have been displaced in Gaza, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency said, and access to medical care has been complicated by Israel cutting power to the territory, threatening the “lives of hundreds” of those injured, the Palestinian Ministry of Health in Gaza said.

While it remains unclear what the full scale of the Israeli response will be, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday predicted a “long and difficult war” and vowed “mighty vengeance” on Hamas.

READ MORE: War in Israel: "We haven't experienced anything yet; the worst is yet to come," says a Greek living in Tel Aviv.

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