Restaurant owner who lost her business and home in Nataf fire: 'I can't deal with it'

Rama Ben Zvi's popular restaurant, which she ran for 21 years in her town of Nataf near Jerusalem, was completely destroyed in the massive fire.
Screen capture: Channel 2 News

Rama Ben Zvi from Nataf, a town near Jerusalem that suffered one of the worst fires of the last few days, returned on Saturday to the spot where her well-known restaurant stood until yesterday, but it was all gone. "I don't even know what I'm feeling right now," she said as she looked at her burned-down business, which she ran for 21 years.

"There are moment when I break down and cry, and there are other moments when I block it all," said Rama, whose own home was also heavily damaged in the fire. "I cannot even begin to describe the efforts I've put into this place."

Though she is planning to rebuild her business, she admitted it may take a long time. "Please don't pressure me, give me time," she urged locals who gathered around. "I want to thank you all for your love and support."

Rama's restaurant was hosting a wedding with dozens of guests when the fire started. Her daughter, Maya, said her main concern when she saw the flames getting near the restaurant was for the people's safety.

"There was a tree next to the restaurant, and we knew that if it caught fire it would be dangerous to the restaurant," she recounted. "We were going to throw water at it, but then it caught fire and took down the entire place."

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