'Beheaded by Hamas': Heartbreak for Shani Louk's family as Israeli president reveals part of her skull has been found

30 October 2023, 14:12 | Updated: 30 October 2023, 15:25

Shani Louk's death has been confirmed by her family
Shani Louk's death has been confirmed by her family. Picture: Social Media

By Asher McShane

A German-Israeli woman kidnapped from the Supernova music festival was beheaded by Hamas fighters, Israel's President Yitzchak Herzog has said.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Shani Louk was taken from the festival by militants after they stormed the site on 7 October in their terror attack which killed hundreds of people at the site alone.

A harrowing video of the 23-year-old circulated online, showing her battered half-naked body face-down in the back of a truck filled with armed men. 

"We are devastated to share that the body of 23-year-old German-Israeli Shani Louk was found and identified," Israel's foreign ministry said. 

"Shani, who was kidnapped from a music festival and tortured and paraded around Gaza by Hamas terrorists, experienced unfathomable horrors. 

Jerusalem Deputy Mayor on Israel-Hamas war

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Shani's friends and family during this unimaginable nightmare. May her memory be a blessing." 

Israeli President Yitzchak Herzog later spoke about her death in an interview with German news outlet Bild.

He told the publication that she had been beheaded by ‘sadistic animals.’

“I am truly sorry to report that we have now received news that Shani Nicole Louk has been confirmed murdered and dead. “Her skull has been found,” said President Herzog.

“This means that these barbaric, sadistic animals simply chopped off her head as they attacked, tortured and killed Israelis. It is a great tragedy and I extend my deepest condolences to her family.”

“What we saw on the Gaza-Israel border goes far beyond a pogrom. We saw a slaughterhouse,” said Herzog.

“We saw the blood flowing on the streets. We have seen the most horrific tragedies imaginable.”

 Hamas gunmen took at least 239 hostages and killed about 1,400 people during the dawn raid.  

Shani Louk’s family also announced her death.

“Unfortunately we got the news yesterday that my daughter is no longer alive,” her mother Ricarda said on German broadcaster RTL. 

Read more: Missing tattoo artist paraded on Hamas truck following Nova festival massacre is alive, mother claims

Read more: 'I spit on you, God damn you': Horrifying Hamas text threats sent from phone belonging to Shani Louk's missing partner

Shani's sister Adi wrote onInstagram that she “announced with great sadness the death of my sister”.

Her mother had previously said she thought her daughter was alive and being treated in a hospital in Gaza.

She had been paraded by Hamas gunmen after the festival attack - it is unclear if she was alive in the video.

Her mother told German news outlet Bild on October 10: “We now have evidence that Shani is alive but has a serious head injury and is in critical condition. Every minute is critical.

The development comes as Rishi Sunak is to chair an emergency Cobra meeting amid fears that the conflict between Hamas and Israel could have increased the domestic terror threat in Britain.

The Prime Minister will assemble police and national security officials and Home Secretary Suella Braverman in Downing Street on Monday morning, Whitehall sources said.

Education minister Robert Halfon stressed before the meeting that the Government has to ensure British citizens are "safe and secure from the threat of terrorism".

He declined to say whether the terror threat level might be raised. It currently stands at "substantial" in England, Wales and Scotland, meaning an attack is likely.

It has been at that level since February last year when it was lowered from "severe", meaning an attack is highly likely.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley warned on Sunday that terrorism is being "accelerated" by events in the Middle East, as he raised concerns about "state threats from Iran".