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260 people killed in Israeli music festival massacre

Kit Roberts

Published 
| Last updated 

260 people killed in Israeli music festival massacre

Featured Image Credit: NBC News/JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

At least 260 people have been killed at a music festival in Southern Israel after Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a surprise attack.

Attendees at the Supernova music festival were caught up in the assault by Hamas, having to flee for their lives.

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Militants fired more than 5,000 rockets into Israel before storming across the border, killing Israeli civilians indiscriminately and taking others back to Gaza as hostages.

One partygoer, Ortel, said that the first sign that something was wrong was when a siren went off signalling a rocket attack.

While such alerts are not uncommon in southern Israel, where Hamas frequently launch rockets from Gaza, it soon became terrifyingly clear that this time something was different.

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

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"Fifty terrorists arrived in vans, dressed in military uniforms."

Festival attendees fled for their lives. Credit: SBSNews/X
Festival attendees fled for their lives. Credit: SBSNews/X

Footage shows partygoers forced to flee through the desert and try to reach their cars. Many had also come by bus and were left stranded at the site.

Ortel said: "They fired bursts, and we reached a point where everyone stopped their vehicles and started running. I went into a tree, a bush like this, and they just started spraying people. I saw masses of wounded people thrown around and I'm in a tree and trying to understand what's going on."

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Emergency medic Yaniv was called out to the party.

He told Israel's public broadcaster Kan News: "It was a massacre. I've never seen anything like it in my life. It was a planned ambush.

"As people came out of the emergency exits, squads of terrorists were waiting for them there and just started picking them off.

"There were 3,000 people at the event, so they probably knew it. They had intelligence information."

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The Israeli Defence Force is still fighting Hamas militants inside Israel. Credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images
The Israeli Defence Force is still fighting Hamas militants inside Israel. Credit: JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

The attack by Hamas is the largest and deadliest assault on Israel in decades, with at least 700 people confirmed to have been killed in Israel since the attack began.

An unconfirmed number of Israeli civilians have also been taken back to Gaza as hostages.

Israel has already launched retaliatory airstrikes on Gaza, with whole streets being levelled by Israeli airforce strikes. At least 419 people have been killed in Gaza by the attacks according to Palestinian authorities.

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In a statement at the start of the attacks, president Joe Biden condemned Hamas and offered support to Israel.

The president said: "The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel."

Topics: News, World News, Israel

Kit Roberts
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