At least 260 people were killed on Saturday when Hamas militants stormed the event during the invasion of Israel.

The Tribe of Nova-organised festival, which was attended by about 3000 mostly-young people, started on Friday night and ended with Hamas terrorists shooting dead and abducting hundreds of people.

May Hayat, 30, revealed her horrific ordeal including how she had to smear herself in blood and hide among dead bodies to survive after the assault began, as detailed in a translated thread on X (formerly Twitter).

In a long post on Instagram, May wrote: “So I went to work with my girlfriend Liron at the bar in the Nova’s party, the whole night and morning we were together.

“We had so much fun. There was a beautiful sunrise and we went towards our trailer to drink coffee and rest. Then the nightmare began – rockets started flying over our heads.”

Music at the festival stopped and May waited for a chance to escape. She then received a phone call from a friend who informed her that people driving away from the festival were being shot by Hamas militants.

“I ran to the police officers closest to me to ask them to go and reinforce the people in the vehicles, but then we realised that there’s so many terrorists in our area and they are very close to us. There was one big chaos,” she wrote.

May then hid on the floor of a police station.

“Some people cried, some shouted, some had anxiety attacks and some were completely silent.”

She tried to comfort people who were upset while her friend Liron helped the wounded.

Then the noise of gunshots grew louder.

“The policemen stood in the doorway ready with their weapons and looked at each other with a frightened look and shouted to ‘storm!’,” she added.

“They turned to us just before leaving the room and told us to ‘run and pray’. They came out and got shot one after the other.”

The Hamas militants fired bursts of gunfire at the room, followed by deathly silence.

May fled for her life.

“We left the room running to the battlefield, and while I’m running I turned back and I saw Liron. She stayed there and didn’t come with us,” she said.

“We tried our best and ran as fast as possible until we reached some ambulance and hid behind it. The shots came from every direction. To our right, to our left, behind and in front of us.”

She managed to get into a vehicle and tried to escape but was immediately shot at.

The vehicle turned around but it was soon targeted again by gunfire.

The car’s wheels got stuck in sand and the party tried to escape on foot.

With another person, she scrambled into a hole and waited, praying fervently.

But she was discovered by eight Hamas militants.

“I closed my eyes tightly because I was sure they gonna shot us but then they grabbed us and lofted us from the ground.

“They took our phones and everything we had in our pockets. They announced in their walkie-talkie, ‘We have 2 more abductees’.”

One of the men tried to communicate with May in Arabic but she didn’t understand what he was saying.

“I didn’t shout, I didn’t went crazy, I became apathetic. He put his jacket on me while the rest of them was looking at me like I was a piece of meat because I was wearing a tank top. In one hand he holds my hand, and in the other hand he holds a missile.

“We started walking and I saw that they were looking on the floor for things like cigarettes and drinks. So I helped them. I didn’t want to resist.”

The other prisoner — a man — became extremely emotional and began crying and begging for his life.

May tried to warn him that crying would annoy their captives.

“They had knives and hammers. I realised we were in danger,” she said.

May revealed that when the man continued to beg for his life, he was murdered in front of her.

The terrorists then began to abuse her physically.

“One of them took a board and every few seconds hit me on the head.

“The other one was holding a knife and every few seconds approached me threateningly. It was important for them to humiliate me.”

What happened next probably saved her life.

One of Hamas militants then took her hand and took her under “his wing”.

There was an attempt to take her away in a car, but it failed to start.

She was warned not to try to escape: “If you try to escape I’ll kill you like I killed your friend,” one of the men said.

While standing next to one of the men, she decided to make a run for it.

“I didn’t know what to do and in one moment I just started running. I stole a glance back and saw that no weapon was pointed at me so I continued to run like crazy,” she said.

She then hid underneath a stage platform and lay down next to three dead bodies — it was the beginning of a gruesome ordeal

“I smeared myself with the blood that dripped from one of the bodies next to me and pretended to be dead for 3 hours,” she added.

“Three hours that felt like an eternity. Three hours where terrorists pass by me and shoot everywhere and burn every possible piece of land, while rockets float above my head. For Three hours I lie among corpses and wonder what will happen to me.”

Eventually, she heard people approach talking Hebrew and screamed “help” loudly.

It was the Israel Defense Forces, who took her paramedics along with other survivors.

What she saw was indescribably horrible.

“In the background, the shooting continued, and in front of my eyes I saw difficult sights that I will spare you and will not describe here.”

She finished with a tragic update.

“But Liron, remember Liron from the beginning go the story? My girlfriend. They killed her. They killed are my hero and unfortunately no one will ever be able to bring her back.”

Women are historically often the targets of kidnapping and sexual violence when conflicts break out.


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By Rahul

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