newsIsrael at War

Desperate families search for loved ones who fled a ‘Nature Party’

"At first, we heard rocket fire; after that, we heard, 'Terrorists, terrorists, run,'" said one of the partygoers.

A highway near Sderot after Hamas terrorists killed Israelis en masse on Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Jamal Awad/Flash90.
A highway near Sderot after Hamas terrorists killed Israelis en masse on Oct. 7, 2023. Photo by Jamal Awad/Flash90.

Families and friends of people caught in the Hamas offensive in Israel’s south have posted pictures and phone numbers online in a bid to get in touch with loved ones. Many of those missing were attending a “Nature Party” in the desert near Kibbutz Re’im.

“My nephew Guy Gilboa-Dalal was at the trance [music] festival. We have had no contact with him. Please, anyone who saw him, any information, contact me,” wrote one in a typical social media post, which included a phone number to call.

Hadar Prince, one of the missing participants from the Nature Party. Credit: Courtesy.

“Anyone who saw Hadar Prince at the party please get in touch. Dana,” said another.

Still another read, “Urgent! Urgent! Urgent! Friend, please share as much as possible. Bar Lior (nickname: Bar Li) was at the Nova party and contact with him was lost. … Please, anyone with any information about his whereabouts contact us.”

Ynet, which reported on the online posts, has set up a “red mail” for anyone with information on those missing.

Cell-phone footage from the scene showed hundreds of young Israelis fleeing for their lives with the sound of small arms fire in the background.

“We felt like ducks on the range, people were running in all directions. A friend came to take us,” said one, according to Israel Hayom.

“At first, we heard rocket fire; after that, we heard, ‘Terrorists, terrorists, run.’ I saw a bloodied policeman. He told me, ‘Just go. Get out of here,'” said another.

A young man described jumping from a car and running as terrorists opened fire from another vehicle. He said his shirt ended up as a tourniquet to staunch the bleeding of one of the injured.

Another attendee told Channel 12, “In the middle of the party, which was big and at high volume, a red alarm started. They turned off the music and we all took our things. They cut off the electricity and suddenly out of nowhere, shots came in, shots in every direction.

“Fifty terrorists arrived in vans, dressed in military uniforms. They fired bursts, and we reached a point where everyone stopped their vehicles and started running. I went to a tree, into a bush, and they just started spraying [bullets at] people. I saw masses of wounded people scattered around while I’m in a bush trying to figure out what’s going on. I could see [the terrorists’] faces. They cursed us,” she said.

Channel 12 reported that dozens of bodies were being removed from the scene of the party where young Israelis had been massacred.

According to the most recent numbers, 250 Israelis have been killed since the fighting began shortly after 6:30 a.m. The Ministry of Health reported on 1,104 injured who were evacuated to hospitals, including 17 seriously injured, 200 severely injured, 226 moderately injured, 451 mildly injured, 11 suffering from shock and 142 under medical evaluation.

But the number of wounded taken to the hospitals subsequently surpassed 1,500.

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