The celebration was held on a lawn in the settlement of Ma’ale Shomron, near the Palestinian city of Qalqilya in the West Bank, where Ayala’s family lives. Ayala’s classmates were also invited to the celebration, as were friends she made during her long rehabilitation process.
At the celebration Ayala declined to talk to reporters, but her parents spoke of the difficulties they have faced in the months since the attack.
Ruth, Ayala’s mother, said that, “six months ago we were not sure that we would reach this moment. This is not a mere birthday, this is a very important moment in her life. It is a day with great personal significance.”
Her father, Avner, said Ayala’s condition is continuously improving, even though she is still in the midst of the rehab process, and that she is no longer undergoing dramatic changes in her condition.
“Day by day, one millimeter and then another,” he said, noting that full recovery, “is a story of a lot of time and a lot of work.”
He said that, “every parent is excited when their child enters into observance of the commandments, and in our case this is even more emotional because it is not just a bat mitzvah, but also a thanksgiving meal.”
He added that from his perspective, “these are moments that are very important in her life.”
In the terror attack six months ago, Ayala suffered third-degree burns over much of her body and face when a firebomb lobbed by a Palestinian teenager smashed through their car as she drove with her father in the West Bank.