‘Complete chaos.’ New Jersey woman in Israel when war broke out one step closer to safety

Merryl Kolb says she had six flights out of Israel canceled as she tried to escape.

Matt Trapani and Brittany Miller

Oct 12, 2023, 2:22 AM

Updated 187 days ago

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A New Jersey woman is one step closer to coming home after being stuck in Israel when the war with Hamas broke out.
News 12 New Jersey spoke with Merryl Kolb before she boarded a plane to Dubai. Kolb had six flights out of Israel canceled as she tried to escape.
“All day long is been lost of noise…lots of bombs, lots of planes,” she says.
Kolb says she went to Jerusalem for peace. She arrived after Rosh Hashanah and was supposed to leave on Saturday night.
“Saturday morning, when we woke up, we woke up to sirens and bombs and jets and chaos – complete chaos,” she says.
She says the roads were empty and everything was desolate.
“Everybody was told to stay home. We heard that people were going door to door kidnapping people, so we were pretty frightened,” she says.
Kolb eventually made her way to a city near the airport.
“At this point, as you can see, everybody just wants to get out,” says Kolb.
Kolb lives in Long Branch – the same community that hosted a vigil Wednesday evening to honor the lives lost in Israel. Dozens of New Jersey residents standing in solidarity and praying for the tragedy to come to an end.
Kolb says that before heading to the airport she was staying with a friend who lives near Tel Aviv. She says that when she lands in Dubai, she still has to find a flight back to the United States.


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