'Like a shooting range': How Israel's Supernova festival turned to gun fire, kidnap and terror

Jake Marlowe is missing and Noa Argamani is believed to be kidnapped from Supernova Festival in Israel. Credit: CNN

What was supposed to be a night of dancing and partying for thousands of young people, quickly turned to gunfire, kidnapping and deadly chaos.

Hamas militants attacked Supernova festival in the desert area, near the Gaza-Israel border, early on Saturday, killing an estimated 260 people.

Terrified revellers tried to run and hide from gunmen, according to an Israeli rescue organisation, news outlets and accounts on social media.

The site has become the scene of one of the country’s worst civilian massacres.

“We saw terrorists killing people, burning cars, shouting everywhere,” festival attendee Shoam Gueta told NBC News. “If you just say something, if you make any noise, you’ll be murdered.”

What is Supernova festival and where was it held?

The event was part of a global festival franchise called Universo Paralello.

It was established in Brazil and is considered the largest and most appreciated international-electronic-alternative festival in all of Latin America, according to its website.

This year's festival in Israel, from October 6 - 7, coincided with the Jewish festival of Sukkot.

Drone footage shows the aftermath of the music festival following the attack.

The event mostly consists of alternative electric and trance music, it also promotes values such as " love each other".

In the UK there's also a version of Universo Paralello called Man With No Name.

The Israel event was held in a rural farmland area, near Kibbutz Re’im, near the Gaza-Israel border.

How did the attack unfold?

According to festival goers, the Hamas militant group began their deadly assault at 6am on Saturday (local time).

The headliner DJ had taken to the stage, but air raid sirens cut through the trap music and rockets streaked overhead, according to Maya Alper who was volunteer litter-picking at the event.

“This is not just war. This is hell," Ms Alper said.

Dozens of Hamas militants, who had broken through Israel’s heavily fortified separation fence and crossed into the country from Gaza, opened fire on young Israelis at the festival.

Explosions can be heard in video taken by festival goer Tal Gibly of her and friends walking through the quickly emptying concert grounds, roughly two miles from the border.

When attendees fled in their cars, Ms Gibly said the roadways became clogged and no-one could move. That’s when the gunshots began, she told CNN.

A separate video showed dozens of panicked festival-goers running through a field, trying to get into their cars, as gunshots rung out.

While rockets rained down, revelers said militants converged on the open field, while other Hamas members waited near bomb shelters, gunning down people who were seeking refuge.

For more than six hours, Ms Alper - and thousands of other concert attendees — hid without help from the Israeli army as Hamas militants sprayed automatic gunfire and threw grenades.

“It was so terrifying and we didn’t know where to drive to not meet those evil … people,” said Tal Gibly, who survived the attack.

She added: “I have a lot of friends that got lost at the forest for a lot of hours and got shot like it was a range.”

Gibly is still trying to contact her friends who were at the concert. She says she doesn’t know if others survived, were taken prisoner, or worse.

Some attendees were taken hostage - some could be seen in social media videos being seized by their armed captors.

The Israeli rescue service Zaka said paramedics have removed about 260 bodies from the music festival.

It is expected this figure will rise as teams continue working to clear the area.

Festival organisers said in a statement on social media they were assisting security forces to help locate missing people who attended the event.

The attack on the music festival was part of the larger assault on Israel by Hamas fighters who blew through a fortified border fence in an unprecedented surprise attack that began Saturday.

Israeli communities on either side of the festival grounds also came under attack, with Hamas gunmen abducting dozens of men, women and children and killing scores of others.

What do we know about the hostages?

A young woman screaming for help, while she was abducted by men on a motorbike at the festival was captured in video posted to social media.

Another man nearby was led away with his hands behind his back.

Noa Argamani Credit: Supplied

The pair have been identified as Noa Argamani and Avinatan Or, CNN reports.

Ms Argamni's friend, Shlomit Marciano, told ITV News: "I can't get it out of my head. She's screaming 'don't kill me'.

"Terrible, terrible. Last time I saw her she was happy - now that video. It's crazy."

She said Noa had hidden for hours from Hamas gunmen but added she is now "most likely" in the hands of Hamas.

When asked what she fears, she replied: "I think you know what I fear - that she's been hurt. I don't even want to imagine what they're doing to her."

Noa Argamani screams as she's driven away on a motorbike, as her friend Shlomit Marciano told ITV News, 'I don't even want to imagine what they're doing to her'

In another video authenticated by CNN, an unconscious woman who was at the festival could be seen being displayed by armed militants in Gaza as onlookers shouted “Allahu Akbar.”

CNN later confirmed the identity of the woman as German-Israeli national Shani Louk.

Her cousin confirmed to the Washington Post, CNN reports that Louk attended the music festival.

Louk’s whereabouts or condition are not known at this time, according to CNN.

“We recognised her by the tattoos, and she has long dreadlocks,” Louk’s cousin told the Washington Post. “We have some kind of hope… Hamas is responsible for her and the others.”

Jake Marlowe has not been seen since Saturday morning. Credit: Facebook / Jake Marlowe

A 26-year-old from London, is also missing after he provided security for the music event, the Israeli Embassy in the UK has confirmed.

Jake Marlowe has not been seen since the invasion early on Saturday morning.

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