Timeline of the Hamas attack on the music festival that left hundreds dead in Israel

The concert was attended by about 3,500 people, about three miles from the border of the Gaza Strip

Barney Davis
Friday 13 October 2023 07:34 BST
Hamas paragliders descend on Israel music festival as people flee massacre

Terrified festivalgoers fled in panic as Hamas fighters parachuted into an all-night rave and opened fire, taking hostages and killing indiscriminately.

An Israeli rescue service said its paramedics removed more than 260 bodies from the Supernova music festival, near the border with Gaza, which came under attack by Hamas militants early on Saturday morning, with British citizen Jacob Marlowe among the missing.

The total figure is expected to be higher as other paramedic teams were working in the area.

Revellers fleeing rave in southern Israel as Hamas militants arrive
Revellers fleeing rave in southern Israel as Hamas militants arrive (Sourced)

Social media footage showed dozens of festival goers running through an open field as gunshots rang out. Many hid in nearby fruit orchards, banana groves or shrubs. Others were gunned down as they fled.

Hundreds of cars abandoned in the scramble to flee a massacre at an Israeli music festival where Hamas gunmen killed 260 people and took captives back into Gaza underline the scale of the deadliest attack on Israel in decades.

Drone footage taken in the aftermath of the attack in Saturday’s early hours shows cars left at the roadside, near Kibbutz Re’im close to Gaza from which Hamas launched its shock assault, many destroyed or pockmarked with bullet impacts.

Below we look at how the deadly tragedy unfolded.


The attack happened in the final hours of Supernova, a marathon trance music event held in honour of the Sukkot festival.

The dancing began at 11pm and continued all night, at the festival attended by thousands of Israelis aged 20-40 from all over the country.

Security personnel were visibly present at the beginning of the party, witnesses said.

At around 6am local time at around sunrise, Hamas militants paraglided into the crowd. It appears children and sightseers head towards the landing paratroopers before shots cause others to flee.

Other militants arrived on foot, shooting at cars and taking many festival-goers hostage as security try to evacuate the thousands of attendees.

People fled some hid for hours waiting for the executions and kidnappings to end.

According to a dashcam footage, at 9.23am a Hamas fighter can be seen dragging away an injured person before executing them behind a car.

Then videos from Gaza started appearing online, including one showing a young woman called Noa Argamani being abducted by Hamas militants as she rode with her boyfriend on a motorcycle. By 10am she had sent her last messages in fear of the attacks to friends.

The moment Noa screams for help as she is kidnapped by Hamas fighters
The moment Noa screams for help as she is kidnapped by Hamas fighters (Telegram)

“We last heard from Noa around 10am and then the next thing we see is her on a Hamas propaganda video,” says Yad Gorjalstan 27, a childhood friend.

“You can hear her screaming, “No, no, no, I am innocent’” he added, breaking down. Mr Gorjalstan shared the last screenshots of her messages moments before she was captured where she says she was hiding with a group, while assailants were lynching people.

She repeatedly called for help, asking for soldiers to come and help them. “She was saying there are terrorists going crazy killing and kidnapping people,” Mr Gorjalstan added, audibly shaken.

Noa Argamani was among those kidnapped by Hamas
Noa Argamani was among those kidnapped by Hamas (Sourced)

Another man, believed to be her partner, was led away with his hands behind his back. A separate video showed dozens of panicked festival-goers running through a field, trying to get into their cars, as gunshots rung out.

At 12.09 dashcam footage captures the moment another loose group of individuals appear to loot through the bodies. Only one is armed, and unarmed individuals carry stolen items. Two of the unarmed individuals rifle through the executed civilian’s pockets.

Festival attendee Shoam Gueta told NBC News that he fled the chaos with a group of 20 people, hiding in the bushes for almost six hours, urging people to remain silent and in place while the attack unfolded. He told the outlet that he saw people being shot as they tried to take cover and that he saw a woman cut with a knife.

“We saw terrorists killing people, burning cars, shouting everywhere,” Gueta said. “If you just say something, if you make any noise, you’ll be murdered.”

The rampage through Israeli towns by Hamas fighters on Saturday was the deadliest such incursion since Egypt and Syria’s attacks in the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago and has threatened to ignite another conflagration in the long-running conflict.

In response, Israeli air strikes hit housing blocks, tunnels, a mosque and homes of Hamas officials in Gaza, killing more than 400 people, including 20 children, in keeping with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow of “mighty vengeance”.

“The price the Gaza Strip will pay will be a very heavy one that will change reality for generations,” said Defence Minister Yoav Gallant in the town of Ofakim.

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