Israel says 260 dead at music festival attacked by Hamas

Families share photos of loved ones missing after all-night dance event was raided by militants

Aftermath of Hamas attack on Israeli music festival

Aftermath of Hamas attack on Israeli music festival
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At least 260 people are confirmed to have died at an Israeli music festival that was attacked by Hamas fighters on Saturday.

Israel's Zaka search and rescue agency on Sunday confirmed the deaths to state broadcaster Kan.

Revellers attending the all-night Nova rave at Kibbutz Re'im, near the Gaza border, were gunned down in a morning attack by militants who arrived by microlight planes.

"We collected over 250 bodies from the nature party. They haven't all been collected yet," Zaka said. It later revised the figure to 260.

Footage showed revellers fleeing the festival as gunmen opened fire. A number of people are believed to have been taken hostage and smuggled over the border to Gaza.

On a Facebook page set up to help to trace survivors, dozens of photos of smiling young people from Israel and other countries were shared, along with their mobile phone numbers and appeals for information.

While the event was promoted as a peace festival celebrating unity and harmony, it took place on illegally occupied land, close to the Gaza border.

The festival included several artists from across the globe, alongside a line-up of local DJs.

Artists from countries including Japan, France, Mexico, Brazil, Sweden, Germany, the UK, Hungary and India were performing.

Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth estimated that 70 per cent of the participants were from Israel, while the remaining 30 per cent travelled from other countries, including the US and Australia.

Updated: October 11, 2023, 8:26 AM