Israel’s Supernova festival descended into chaos after Hamas gunmen allegedly stormed the desert event, killing hundreds of partygoers and kidnapping others in one of the militant group’s deadliest attacks.
Dashcam footage showed a man being shot inside the site while another video appeared to show the moment a 25-year-old woman begged not to be killed as she was taken.
Using pictures and videos from social media and other witness testimony, Sky News has pieced together what we know so far about the assault and how the festival once described as a celebration of “love and infinite freedom” turned into a massacre.
More than 260 bodies have been recovered from the festival, according to Israeli rescue service Zaka following the Hamas attack.
Held just 5km (three miles) from the Israel-Gaza border in the Negev desert in southern Israel, the Supernova trance festival began on Friday evening with thousands of young people attending.
The festival – featuring psychaedelic trance artists, a genre of electronic dance music that emerged in the late 90s – also had an area for camping, a bar, food court, and an art space.
Gunfire and panic
Festivalgoers were seen dancing to bass music under colourful tents and fairy lights in one of the main areas before the camera panned to smoke rising in the distance – marked by six grey clouds in the sky.
Witnesses reported hearing rocket fire in the distance, but some ravers didn’t hear explosions over the loud music.
Shortly after the music was stopped, around 6.30am, announcements were made and security staff began ushering people away from the stages.
Videos showed some people leaving hurriedly, appearing confused but not yet in panic.
With the sound of gunfire, people were seen frantically running into the surrounding fields to escape. We located one video to one of the fields east of the site across the road.
North of the festival, footage showed Israeli security forces and local police setting up a perimeter and fighting positions as festivalgoers took cover.
The markings on this man’s headband appeared to match the Hamas logo, and the location of the site according to the dashcam coordinate was also matched by a festival tent that appeared in the background.
The timestamp on the video indicates that the footage was captured approximately three hours after the militants appeared on the scene.