At least 260 people have been killed at a music festival in Israel, after it became a target of the surprise attack on the country by Hamas militants from Gaza on Saturday morning. Other attendees were taken hostage, with information on their whereabouts still unclear.
Taking place on rural farmland near the Gaza-Israel border, the inaugural Israeli edition of Brazilian psy trance festival Universe Parallel had been arranged to coincide with the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. Artists playing included Man With No Name, Aladin, Artifex, and Wegha.
The event had been running all night when it was hit by a rocket attack at around 6.30am. Shortly afterwards, militants reportedly drove onto the festival site and began firing guns at attendees as they attempted to flee.
“We didn’t even have any place to hide because we were [in] open space”, attendee Tai Gibly told CNN. “Everyone got so panicked and started to take their stuff”.
Video footage shared on social media shows festival-goers running from the site as militants fire on them. Some appear to be struck by bullets, while others are seen being taken hostage.
Israeli rescue service Zaka later told reporters that it had removed at least 260 bodies from the festival site. Around 3500 people are thought to have attended the event, and artist manager Raz Gastor told Billboard yesterday that as many as 700 were still missing.