The setting: a large desert in Israel. The reason: an electronic music festival that brought together dozens of young people from all over the world. The outcome: an unexpected massacre in which 260 people perished.
The multiple videos that are circulating online these days show young people partying while the flashes of rockets can be seen in the background. Minutes later the shootings and kidnappings would come. The image that represents that horror is and will forever be that of Shani Louk, the 22-year-old German-Israeli girl who was identified after the video in which she was taken for a ride in a pick-up by her captors went viral.
Arik Nani also attended that rave to the south of the country, near the Reim kibbutz, to celebrate his 26th birthday and managed to flee. “I heard gunshots from all directions, they were shooting at us from both sides,” he told Reuters. “Everyone was running and didn’t know what to do. It was total chaos,” adds the young man.
The stories of escape and the images taken – abandoned or even destroyed vehicles – by a drone after the Hamas incursion show how that music festival became a real mousetrap.
“At one point, a friend and I got into a car with people we didn’t know and started driving,” said Zohar Maariv, 23. The car was attacked, forcing them to escape on foot and hide to make it out alive. His boyfriend was not so lucky because he is still missing.