Arbel Ashkenazy, a participant at the Supernova festival, experienced a nightmarish turn of events during what was supposed to be a joyous celebration. The festival, coinciding with the start of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, aimed to unite people through Brazilian psy trance music and a focus on free love, spirit, and environmental preservation. Regrettably, the tranquility was shattered when Hamas militants infiltrated the festival and unleashed a tragic wave of violence upon the unsuspecting partygoers. This act of terror not only claimed the lives of hundreds of Israelis but also resulted in a multitude of injuries and the alarming number of hostages taken by Hamas.
Amidst the festivities, Ashkenazy and her friends found themselves immersed in chaos as rockets rained down from Gaza, and gunshots echoed through the festival grounds. While initially uncertain of the gravity of the situation, the escalating panic of the crowd eventually drove them to seek safety. Despite the difficulties caused by the massive influx of departing vehicles, they managed to make their way towards safety, only to be confronted by the aftermath of the vicious attack. Shattered car windows and cries for medical assistance painted a disturbing picture of the violence that had enveloped the scene.
For Ashkenazy and her companions, the only option left was to abandon their vehicles and flee on foot. With gunshots resounding and the chilling chants of ‘Allahu Akbar’ filling the air, they sprinted towards an open field, hoping to find refuge. The sight of armed Hamas operatives in black garb and masks struck fear into their hearts, but they pressed on, knowing that their lives depended on it. Their desperate flight demonstrated not only their resilience but also the extraordinary acts of bravery shown by fellow partygoers, guiding them towards safety in the face of imminent danger.
By an incredible stroke of luck, Ashkenazy and her friend encountered a Good Samaritan in the midst of the chaos. This ‘angel’ provided them with a lifeline—a white van—and swiftly transported them through the treacherous terrain to a nearby police station. Although the respite was far from peaceful, it offered a temporary reprieve from the horrors they had witnessed. Still, the fate of Ashkenazy’s close friend, Eden, hung in the balance, as her whereabouts remained unknown and concerns for her safety grew more profound.
The harrowing ordeal left an indelible mark on Ashkenazy, who couldn’t shake off the horrific scenes that unfolded before her eyes. The tragic sight of young lives cut short and pools of blood staining the festival floor served as a stark reminder of the chaos that had consumed them. Grateful for her own survival, Ashkenazy yearned for the safe return of her friends and an end to this nightmarish tale. The absurdity of the situation was not lost on her—no country, no place should be subjected to such terror and indignity. Their frantic escape through the open field symbolized the sheer desperation and absence of refuge they faced, underscoring the urgent need for peace and security.
The journey to recovery, however, was not an easy one. The knowledge that her dear friend, Eden, had been captured by Hamas hung heavily over her. Eden’s anguished phone call to her mother, filled with the sounds of their captors, abruptly cut short, left a heart-wrenching void in Ashkenazy’s life. The search for Eden persisted, but silence remained the only response. The loss of young lives and the uncertainty surrounding her friend’s fate weighed heavily on her, as she yearned for a resolution to this tragic episode. The lingering disbelief served as a constant reminder of the surreal nature of the events that transpired.
Ashkenazy’s survival was nothing short of a miracle. Now, her thoughts and prayers were solely devoted to the safe return of her friends and the restoration of peace. The desire for this horrific chapter to reach its end permeated every part of her being. The madness she experienced defied all reason and went against the natural order of things. No one should ever have to endure such terror, no matter the country or context. Her plea was simple yet profound—a plea for unity, compassion, and the return of a sense of normalcy. And above all, a plea for Eden’s safe return.
The resilience shown by Arbel Ashkenazy and her fellow festival attendees was nothing short of inspiring. Despite the unimaginable fear and uncertainty, they remained steadfast in their pursuit of safety. The Supernova festival, with its intent to foster unity and celebration, became an unforeseen battleground that showcased both the vulnerability and the strength of the human spirit. Ashkenazy’s firsthand account of the horrors endured that day serves as a reminder of the need for continued vigilance against those who wish to sow chaos and destruction upon innocent lives.