NEW DELHI: A night of celebration turned into a nightmare at Israel’s supernova music festival after Hamas militants ambushed the venue, went on a shooting spree and abducted dozens of revelers.
Osher and Michael Waknin, known for organizing joyous parties across Israel, aimed to create an atmosphere of friendship, love and freedom.
Little did they know that their last gathering would become the epicenter of the deadliest attack in Israel‘s 75-year history.
The festival, which drew around 3,500 electronic music enthusiasts from both Israel and abroad, unfolded seamlessly with three stages, DJs from across the globe, and a camping area.
As dawn broke on October 7, the music abruptly ceased, marking the beginning of tragic events as rockets fired by Hamas targeted the event.

Ephraim Mordechayev, a 23-year-old soldier celebrating the weekend amid the festivities, shared his experience. Accustomed to the occasional rocket launches from the nearby Gaza Strip, he and his friends initially didn’t grasp the gravity of the situation.
However, as panic set in, the realization struck that gunmen were among them, arriving by foot, motorcycle, or air, unleashing automatic gunfire and claiming innocent lives.

“There is a someone that is 20, 10 metres from you with guns and trying to kill you,” Mordechayev told AFP.
Celebration turned into massacre
Attendees, desperate to escape the venue, ran for their lives with some seeking refuge in the fields surrounding the venue, while others attempted to reach their vehicles in the festival’s car parks.
The scene on Route 232, the only escape route, quickly turned dire as Hamas attackers, firing from behind embankments, trapped people in a deadly crossfire.

Tragic Turn of Events: Hamas Attack on Israel Music Festival – Watch Viral Video Footage

In a desperate bid for survival, some hid among the corpses, while others sought cover behind cars or in sparse fields. The brutality continued for hours before Hamas gunmen left with hostages.
Surveillance images captured at 9:23 am depicted a chilling scene of a man in a black cap, body armor, leading a hostage in a blood-soaked shirt. The ruthless nature of the attack was highlighted as a young man, believing the coast was clear, attempted to run, only to be shot point-blank.
Israeli army’s response was purportedly delayed with survivors waiting for rescue for up to seven hours. Till the time rescue workers arrived, 270 lives had been lost, burnt-out vehicles lining the road and abandoned belongings scattered across the ground.
Grieving families search for loved ones
Days after the massacre, families are left mourning the dead and anxiously searching for the missing as dozens are believed to have been kidnapped and taken as hostages to Gaza. One grieving mother,
Ahuva Mayzel, expressed her helplessness, awaiting news of her daughter Adi, missing since the festival. Waiting for news of her child, Mayzel said “we are just helpless, completely helpless as her parents.”
Michael Waknin, one of the festival organizers is still missing with his family questioning whether he is alive or not. While his sister Ausa holds onto hope, uncertainty persists since the attack.
Osher Waknin, the other twin who was laid to rest in Jerusalem, was last seen attempting to rescue others amidst the chaos. His widow, Sunny Waknin, mourns him as a hero.
(With inputs from AFP)Watch Watch: How Israel’s music festival near Gaza became a war zone

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