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Music festival in Israel becomes site for death and abduction

About 3,000 festivalgoers were celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkot when they were sent running in fear from Hamas gunmen and abductors.
Music festival in Israel becomes site for death and abduction
Posted at 7:04 AM, Oct 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-09 09:04:15-04

A music festival in Israel turned into a nightmare as it became a site for death and abduction.

When Hamas began its attack on Israel early Saturday, it launched thousands of rockets into Israel, while also infiltrating the nation from the ground. Hundreds of Israelis have since been killed, and a number were taken hostage.

About 30 minutes after hearing rockets, attendees at the Nova Festival were sent running as Palestinian militants opened fire on them, according to CNN. The event took place in a rural farmland area near the Gaza-Israel border.

Over 260 bodies were recovered from the festival site, Israeli rescue agency Zaka said, according to BBC News.

SEE MORE: What is Hamas? The Palestinian group behind the Israel attack

The first sign something was wrong was when the lights went out.

"They turned off the electricity and suddenly out of nowhere [militants] come inside with gunfire, opening fire in every direction," a partygoer named Ortel told Israel's Channel 12

In videos on social media, some festivalgoers can be seen as they are taken hostage by the militants.

Panicked people fled the open area to find refuge.

"We didn't even have any place to hide because we were at [an] open space," Tal Gibly told CNN. "Everyone got so panicked and started to take their stuff."

Once at their cars, they were caught in traffic jams as vehicles clogged up the roadways. Gunshots rang out. 

In videos taken by Gibly, someone can be heard shouting, "Go! Go forward! Go forward!" 

She said people began fleeing in their cars to the forest, where they were shot at. She compared it to a shooting range.

"It was so terrifying and we didn't know where to drive to not meet those evil … people," Gibly said. "I have a lot of friends that got lost at the forest for a lot of hours and got shot like it was a range."

Gili Yoskovich told the BBC she hid in a pomelo orchard.

"They were going tree by tree and shooting. I saw people were dying all around. I was very quiet. I didn't cry, I didn't do anything," Yoskovich said.

About 3,000 people attended the event, according to emergency medic Yaniv, who was called there to assist.

"It was a massacre," he told the BBC, adding that he believed it was a planned ambush.

The event was supposed to be an all-night party to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

Israel has since declared war against Hamas.


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