A concert-goer has recounted his brush with death during last month’s surprise assault in southern Israel
The Hamas militants who launched last month’s surprise attack on a rave in southern Israel showed no regard for their own survival and were driven to kill as many civilians as possible, a man who lived through the assault has told RT in an exclusive interview.
“I just want people to imagine standing in a forest and 30 gunmen running toward them,” Ofek Livni said on Monday. “Their all goal is to kill you, and they don’t care about their lives. They don’t want to get out alive. They just want to kill you, and your mission is to survive at the moment and later on to get back at them.”
Hamas launched a surprise attack out of Gaza on October 7, targeting nearby Israeli outposts, villages and towns. An estimated 1,400 Israelis died in the incursion. At least 260 people were massacred at the Supernova music festival, just three miles from Gaza, one of the first places to be struck. The militants took hundreds of captives back to Gaza as hostages, many of whom were kidnapped at the rave.
“The Hamas terror group took the festival as an opportunity to show their violence and their true agenda,” Livni said. “They say it [out] loud. Their agenda is to erase Israel and the Jewish population, and they are not coming for peace.”
Livni said the attack began with rockets being fired at the festival. He and his friends took shelter in some trees, then started hearing gunfire around them. They ran from hiding place to hiding place as they heard the gunmen getting closer to them, all the while seeing people and cows getting shot around them.
It took about 90 minutes for Livni and his friends to find a spot where they could cross a road that was jammed with hundreds of cars abandoned by fleeing concert-goers. They finally got to his car and picked up several strangers who also were running from the terrorists.
“We were ten people in a five-seat car, until we get to safety, and I took them home, each and every one of them,” Livni recalled. He added that the gunmen fired toward his car as he drove away.
Asked about international criticism of Israel’s retaliatory attacks against Hamas, which have killed thousands of civilians in Gaza, Livni acknowledged that the conflict had stirred more hatred of his country. However, he argued that trying to reach a negotiated solution with Hamas isn’t a viable option.
“People say Hamas is equal [to] ISIS,” he said, referring to the terrorist group Islamic State. “I say Hamas is 10 times worse than ISIS. You cannot negotiate. It’s impossible to negotiate with someone who’s willing to die if you’re going to die as well. It’s kind of a joke, to be honest.”
Livni added that the conflict has unified Israelis because the survival of the Jewish people is again under threat.
“No matter what happened before, people coming to erase us from the world, like [it] happened in the Holocaust, and we are getting together,” he told RT. “This is why the Israeli state existed. This is the whole point of the UN to give us the mandate to be here.”