Iyyad and Nasreen Yousef, Druze Israelis, have been part of the Jewish village of Yated, a short distance from the Gaza and Egyptian borders, for 15 years. They came to live there following Iyyad’s career-long service in the IDF and have been assimilated and accepted by Yated’s population — who now possibly owe their lives to Nasreen’s quick thinking and ingenuity.
When Hamas terrorists began attacking Israel’s south early on Saturday morning, October 7, Iyyad — now a command sergeant major serving in Gaza — quickly joined the settlement’s response team, unaware that his first encounter with terrorists would be at his home, the nearest one to the border.
Iyyad’s team apprehended two attackers in his front yard and Nasreen began questioning them, at a time when the magnitude of the event was still unclear. She told Channel 12 News she asked who sent them and how many they were, using her native command of Arabic to extract valuable pieces of information, which would soon prove vital.
Finding out that additional Hamas terrorists were hiding in her greenhouse, she alerted IDF forces, who soon came and captured 20 attackers planning to wipe out the entire village. When one attacker’s phone rang, Nasreen answered and heard the terror unit’s Hamas commander on the line.
Pretending to aid Hamas in hiding their terrorist unit in her home, she was able to gain intel about their plans and movements, their numbers (to know how much food and water they would need, supposedly), eventually offering the commander a “deal.”
“I told him, ‘I’ll get you money, food… an IDF uniform and I can get you out — but you have to tell your superior what I’m telling you,’ and he went with it,” she told Channel 12. Consequently, this allowed IDF forces to get to the area immediately and take down an additional unit of 15 highly trained members of Hamas’ Nukhba force.
Nasreen and her family later evacuated to a hotel in Eilat with the rest of Yated, where they are still awaiting their safe return home, near the border, at the place she helped save.
“If I wasn’t there,” she concluded, “I believe if I did not go out to interrogate these terrorists, half or all of our community, many of us, would have been killed.”