Israel music fest survivor recalls horror: ‘She was killed at point-blank range’ | World News - Hindustan Times
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Israel music festival survivor recalls Hamas attack: ‘She tried to run because… killed at point-blank range’ | WATCH

Oct 10, 2023 08:05 AM IST

Israel-Palestine conflict: Tribe of Nova music festival will go down in Israeli history as the worst massacre in its history, with at least 260 people killed.

Israel-Palestine conflict: Sahar Ben Sela, one of the survivors of the Hamas militant attack on a music festival (rave) in Israel has shared the memories of the horrifying incident as he recovers at a hospital in the aftermath of the attack.

Sahar Ben Sela, one of the survivors of the Hamas militant attack on a music festival (rave) in Israel.
Sahar Ben Sela, one of the survivors of the Hamas militant attack on a music festival (rave) in Israel.

In an interview to Israel's Channel 12, Sahar described how a group of Hamas militants opened fire on partygoers at the Nova Nature Party near Kibbutz Re'im in the Negev desert, near the Gaza Strip, early Saturday morning.

"They stopped the music, we were told that there were emergency sirens and after a few minutes, the producers of the party screamed there are terrorists," Sahar was quoted as saying. Follow Live Updates on Israel-Hamas war

Sahar added that he and around 10 other friends got into cars and tried to escape, and were led to a concrete bomb shelter by a policeman. "There were about 30 of us. After a few minutes, the terrorists started shooting at us and neutralised the policeman right in front of us," he said.

"They threw a first grenade that exploded at the entrance of the shelter. After a minute of shouting, praying, and screaming from pain, they threw another grenade that hit me in the head. I stood against the wall in the second row of people and the grenade flew to the bodies behind. They were the ones getting hit, and this is what saved us."

"After half a minute, a friend tried to get out of the shelter because she was suffocating inside. Her partner and I tried to grab her, but we didn't manage to. She ran right into a terrorist and was shot from point-blank range," he said.

"Then, the terrorist entered the shelter, I think with an uzi, and just started to shoot. Everyone who was in the first and second rows, except for me, was killed. A bullet hit me in the elbow and shrapnel in my leg and lungs. I think his gun got stuck because I heard a noise and he ran outside."

About a minute later, one of the survivors checked outside and said the area was clear. "I went out after him and looked for a gun on the floor but couldn't find one," Sahar said.

"I got on the radio with the police and said that we need reinforcements and that there are people killed and wounded. The policeman on the line said, 'Just run. Good luck,'" he added.

The open-air Tribe of Nova music festival will go down in Israeli history as the worst civilian massacre in the country's history, with at least 260 people killed and a still undetermined number taken hostage. Dozens of Hamas militants who had blown through Israel's heavily fortified separation fence and crossed into the country from Gaza opened fire on about 3,500 young Israelis who had come together for a joyous night of electronic music to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Some attendees were drunk or high on drugs, magnifying their confusion and terror.

(With inputs from agencies)

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