- A grandfather and retired IDF general rescued his granddaughters from their kibbutz as Hamas attacked.
- Noam Tibon, 62, is being compared on social media to Liam Neeson’s character in “Taken.”
- On the way, Tibon helped kill Hamas militants and then fought his way onto the kibbutz to save his family.
A former Israeli general’s rescue of his son’s family from Hamas fighters attacking their kibbutz is being compared to Liam Neeson in “Taken” on social media.
Award-winning journalist Amir Tibon was at home in Nahal Oz, a kibbutz bordering Gaza, when Hamas attacked communities along the border on October 7.
As the sounds of gunfire came closer to the safe room Amir’s family was sheltering, he rang his father, Noam Tibon, a 62-year-old retired major-general living in Tel Aviv.
On hearing the news, the grandfather, who spent his military career specializing in counter-terrorism, replied to his son: “Trust me, I will come.'” He knew that I would come. This is my profession, nobody can stop me,” Noam told NBC Nightly News.
He immediately left Tel Aviv with his wife, armed only with a handgun, and drove south intent on saving his family, battling Hamas gunmen along the way, rescuing survivors of the music festival massacre, and helping wounded Israeli soldiers.
His son Amir told The Atlantic, “After 10 hours, we hear a large bang on the window, and we hear the voice of my father. Galia, my oldest daughter, says, ‘Saba higea’ — ‘Grandfather is here.’ And that’s when we all just start crying. And that’s when we knew that we were safe.”
Noam’s outstanding bravery has been hailed on social media, with users declaring him a real-life Bryan Mills, a former black ops specialist played by Liam Neeson in the 2008 movie “Taken” who rescues his teenage daughter from human trafficking kidnappers.
Many compared Tibon’s comment, “This is my profession, nobody can stop me,” to the oft-quoted line from Mills to his daughter’s captor: “If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a nightmare for people like you.”
The grandfather fought his way through a land of death and chaos
In an interview with The Atlantic, Amir described in detail how his father rescued him and his family.
Amir, his wife Miri, and their two daughters were asleep at their kibbutz when they heard the sound of a mortar about to explode at about 6 a.m.
The couple ran to their safe room, built to withstand direct hits from mortars or rockets, where they put their daughters, three-year-old Galia, and one-year-old Carmel, to bed every night.
Then Amir described the gunfire they heard from the fields as “the most chilling noise” he had heard in his lifetime. Eventually, he and his wife realized Hamas militants had infiltrated their kibbutz.
The Tibons and their daughters waited together in silence and in darkness, unsure if anyone was coming to rescue them. Amir texted his parents “There are terrorists outside.”
His parents started driving from Tel Aviv and arrived in the town of Sderot to find people walking barefoot on the road. They were young people who had fled the music festival that Hamas fighters had attacked early that morning, massacring 260 people. “My parents put the survivors in their car and took them farther away from the border,” Amir said.
The couple then plowed on through the war zone, picking up a soldier along the way. Soon, they ran into a gunbattle between Israeli forces and a “Hamas cell.”
“My father has a pistol with him, and he and this other soldier join the soldiers who are fighting. They help kill them, and now they’re very close to my kibbutz,” said Amir.
But the battle has left two soldiers wounded. Noam puts them in his car, and Amir’s mother then took the wounded soldiers to the hospital.
“My father took weapons from the wounded soldiers, who gave them to him because he told them, ‘I’m going back in,'” Amir said.
Then, amid the chaos, Amir said his father ran into another retired former general, Israel Ziv, who had donned his uniform and immediately headed to join the fighting when the Hamas invasion started.
“These two guys over the age of 60 are driving in a regular car like people take on the New Jersey Turnpike on their way to work,” Amir told The Atlantic.
Back in Nahal Oz, the Tibon family, sitting in the darkness of their safe room, could hear a battle that had begun outside. “My father is coming. They’re fighting. He’s with these soldiers,” Amir told his wife.
Noam had joined up with a cohort of Israeli soldiers sent to liberate the kibbutz.
“When I came to the area of my son’s house there was at least five bodies of terrorists and a brave Israeli soldier. When I came to their apartment I knock on the security window and I say ‘Amir. It’s father, you can open.”
Israel said that 1,300 people were killed during Hamas’ deadly raids, terrorist attacks and rocket barrages that began on October 7. The Palestinian death toll as a result of retaliatory bombing by Israel of Gaza is at least 1,900, The Wall Street Journal reported.