What was supposed to be a “peace festival” ended in a brutal massacre. On Saturday morning, fighters from the Palestinian Hamas movement took control of the festival site in southern Israel. The gunmen began shooting randomly at festival-goers. The attendees were trapped like rats as they were attacked from all sides. Survivors testify to panic and chaos. Family members are desperately trying to contact hundreds of missing people.
Read all about the conflict between Israel and Palestine in our file.
look. As the sun rises, a hundred naysayers are still dancing. Shortly after, they fled for their lives.
The Jewish holiday “Simchat Torah” has been celebrated since Friday evening in the Israeli settlement of Urim, about thirty kilometers from the Gaza Strip. Thousands of people were attending an outdoor festival in a forest when the Hamas bombing began. A large number of visitors were injured as a result of the missile attack.
As festival-goers fled in panic, Hamas fighters entered the site on motorcycles, survivors told the Israeli news site Haaretz.. Then they fired into the crowd. It was chaos. “They came from everywhere,” says one eyewitness.
Although Israelis in that region always take rocket attacks from Gaza into account, everyone was completely surprised by this attack, Adam Burrell says. He tried to flee by car, but a jeep carrying Hamas fighters stopped them and started shooting. But Baril is able to escape. “People were affected. We hid. Everyone ran in one direction.”
Watch also. The pictures show the kidnapping of civilians
Visitors were shot at from all directions and hid in panic. Some hid in the bush, others in canals and orchards, begging for help. Omar, who managed to escape while he was being shot, said that the roads were blocked by many burning cars. “It was a battlefield.”
According to eyewitnesses, it took five hours for the army to arrive. Newspaper ‘The Times of Israel wrote that at least dozens of people were killed. As of late Saturday evening, emergency workers were busy evacuating festival-goers.
Hundreds of people are missing
Relatives and friends of hundreds of missing visitors are searching social media for information about their loved ones. Michael Zerihan tries to call his cousin Shahar, but he does not answer his phone. He’s got his cousin’s girlfriend. His girlfriend said that Shahar was shot in the neck and was hiding in the car. Two hours later we were able to contact her again. She screamed: “I was shot, and I don’t know what to do.” We have lost touch since then.”
According to the New York Times, lists of at least 500 names of missing people are being shared on social media.
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Hamas invades Israel. invisible. But why now? What will be the consequences? (+)
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