As many as 260 bodies were found after the carnage by Hamas, CNN reported.
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It is being described as one of the most terrifying attacks inside Israel ever carried out by Hamas militants.
The outdoor Nova Festival event was supposed to be an all-night dance party, celebrating the Jewish holiday of Sukkot but the attack turned the celebration into a grieving night.
Videos from the event show some attendees being taken hostage by Hamas.
Some of the stories are beginning to emerge as family members recognize relatives in videos circulating from Gaza.
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One of the attendees, Tal Gibly, told CNN, “We didn’t even have any place to hide because we were at [an] open space,” and added, “Everyone got so panicked and started to take their stuff.”
Gibly and the others didn’t know it, but less than two miles away, Gaza militants had also begun attacking Israeli tanks and soldiers.
When attendees fled in their cars, Gibly said the roadways became clogged and no one could move. That’s when the gunshots began, she says.
In videos Gibly took, an Israeli military vehicle is seen driving against the flow of traffic as people try to make way for it. Someone outside the car was heard screaming: “Go! Go forward! Go forward!”
That’s when Gibly said she and her friends panicked, abandoned the car, and began running.
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A video circulating on social media showed hundreds of attendees fleeing their cars, running across an empty field with gunshots echoing in the background.
The hostages’ videos are also going viral on several social media platforms. In one of the videos, an Israeli woman and her boyfriend – identified as Noa Argamani and Avinatan Or, who had attended the festival – were shown being kidnapped.
In it, Argamani was seen on the back of a motorcycle being driven away as she pleaded for help. Or was seen nearby as the motorcycle carrying Argamani rode past, and was eventually apprehended by several men – and made to walk with his hands held behind his back.
In a major escalation on October 7, Hamas launched a “surprise attack” on Israel, firing a barrage of rockets into the southern and central parts of the country.