Couple who escaped Israeli festival massacre share harrowing experience as ‘bullets whistle past us and people just fall’ amid desperate search for missing friend
- READ MORE: Hamas announces it will begin to EXECUTE hostages and post video evidence online for every Israeli airstrike as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders Israel’s Defence Forces to besiege Gaza
An Israeli couple who escaped the festival massacre in Israel on Saturday have shared their harrowing experience as they continue the search for a missing friend.
Amit Bar and her partner Nir were among those attending the Tribe of Nova festival in Re’im when Hamas militants opened fire, killing more than 260.
The couple managed to avoid the gunfire but became separated from their friend, Ziv, as he peeled off to help others.
‘When the rockets started, Ziv helped two girls and made sure to calm them down, he told them that everything would calm down soon,’ Amit told Israeli outlet N12.
Two hours later, Ziv called to tell his friends that he was with another group.
‘We tried to shout at him and call him but he didn’t listen. All this time we saw the terrorists driving in vehicles and shooting in every direction, we thought that we couldn’t move,’ Amit said.
Amit Bar and her partner Nir were among those attending the Tribe of Nova festival in Re’im when Hamas militants opened fire, killing more than 260
The aftermath of an attack on a music festival by Palestinian militants, near Kibbutz Reim in the Negev desert in southern Israel on October 8
The Israeli rescue service Zaka said at least 260 bodies have been removed from the festival site. Pictured: Partygoers fleeing the festival scene on Saturday
Amit posted a photo of her with her partner on Instagram earlier today.
She wrote of her experience: ‘You hear the bullets whistling next to us and people just fall and the f*****g terrorists behind us circling everywhere on motorcycles just trying to kill.
READ MORE: Bodies of 260 revellers killed in Israel festival massacre are piled on top of each other as Hamas attack aftermath is laid bare: Survivors describe gunmen going ‘tree by tree’ executing victims – with father who rushed to save daughter among missing
‘When I tell you I have no strength, you tell me I have no choice and we must keep running.
‘We didn’t stop running until you and Ziv split up and hid in the bushes.
‘The gunshots went over the head, I never knew what a whistle of a gun sounds like, the terrorists pass by and shoot wherever possible and we do everything not move to maintain silence.’
She added: ‘What we experienced is impossible to digest, we just keep praying that Ziv comes home to us.’
At least 260 people were killed at the festival in southern Israel on Saturday.
Countless more were injured in attacks as armed Hamas militants swept through.
Some 3,500 people had reportedly been at the festival, though reports vary.
Gunmen infiltrated the festival in vans while others descended from motorised paragliders.
Hamas took an unknown number of hostages from the festival.
Fears have grown for the safety of British national Jake Marlowe, 26, missing since Saturday.
He was working at the Supernova Festival, near the Gaza Strip, when Palestinian militants stormed onto the site at the crack of dawn, firing rockets and sending in terrorists armed with guns to attack.
More than 100 people have been taken hostage since the incursion began on Saturday.
Thomas Helm, Jerusalem Correspondent for The National, told MailOnline on Saturday locals had been expecting a rocket attack, but were stunned by the nature of the full assault.
‘What’s so shocking about this one is the creativity. People were planning for a large rocket barrage. That’s what we have been worrying about for a long time. But for people to be flying in on hang-gliders, it’s unreal,’ he said.
‘What it does more than anything else is shatters this sense that Israel… whenever you speak to an Israeli General they’re obsessed with deterrence. And they worry that their deterrence has been diminished in recent months. But this shatters it.’
Hamas fighters circumvented Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip by flying in via paraglider, according to the Israeli military (pictured: an alleged paraglider crossing into Israel)
Israel has responded with devastating airstrikes in the last couple of days and today announced it would push through a ‘complete siege’ of Gaza, affecting 2.3mn people living on the Strip.
READ MORE: Hamas announces it will begin to EXECUTE hostages and post video evidence online for every Israeli airstrike as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders Israel’s Defence Forces to besiege Gaza
Yoav Gallant, Israel’s defence minister, said today: ‘There will be no electricity, food or fuel [delivered to Gaza].
‘We are fighting barbaric [terrorists] and will respond accordingly.’
Some 300,000 reservists have been called up as Israel gathers momentum.
With the siege, the country is now ‘trying to prepare their backers’ for the possibility that ‘this is going to be a long war’, Helm told MailOnline this evening.
At the same time, continued strikes on Jerusalem today indicate Hamas still has large stockpiles of premium weapons, he said.
‘The thinking has been that [Hamas] launched their [strongest missiles] in the first barrage. But if they are still hitting Jerusalem now, it shows they still have a desire to escalate.’
Hamas has responded to mounting airstrikes by threatening to execute its hostages and share evidence online.
Qatar has since sought to mediate de-escalation talks with Israel and Hamas, aiming to secure a deal whereby both sides release captives.
The ongoing negotiations, which Qatar has been conducting in coordination with the United States since Saturday night, are ‘moving positively’ a source told Reuters earlier today.
‘We are in constant contact with all sides at the moment. Our priorities are to end the bloodshed, release the prisoners and make sure the conflict is contained with no regional spillover,’ foreign ministry spokesperson Majed Al-Ansari said.
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