How the Hamas attack at the Supernova festival in Israel unfolded

10 October 2023, 11:47 | Updated: 10 October 2023, 12:16

Hundreds were killed during the attack
Hundreds were killed during the attack. Picture: Social media

By Emma Soteriou

Hundreds of revellers were killed at Israel's Supernova festival over the weekend as Hamas launched a brutal attack.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The event, which was scheduled to coincide with the Jewish festival of Simchat Torah, was sold as a celebration of "friends, love and infinite freedom".

But it quickly erupted into chaos as Hamas gunmen arrived on the site in paragliders, motorbikes and pick-up trucks.

At least 260 were killed in the attack, with many still missing and believed to be either dead or taken hostage.

Read more: 'My heart is broken, my baby brother is gone': Sister's tribute after British photographer killed in Israel by Hamas

Read more: We will protect you: Foreign Secretary’s message to Britain’s Jewish people as protests erupt over Israel-Hamas conflict

Crowds fleeing from the festival
Crowds fleeing from the festival. Picture: Social media

Party-goers began arriving at the site from 11pm the night before and danced the night away at the event.

The festival, which featured psychaedelic trance artists, had an area for camping, a bar, food court, and an art space.

Three miles away, at the Gaza border, Hamas fighters were preparing for their multi-pronged attack.

Sunrise attack - 6.30am

Footage shared online showed the attack beginning at around 6.30am local time as people danced around, unaware of what was going to happen.

Witnesses reported hearing rocket fire in the distance, while others did not hear the explosions over the loud music.

Hamas said it launched 5,000 rockets in its initial barrage while Israel’s military said 2,500 rockets were fired.

Shortly after, the music was stopped and an announcement was made saying: "Guys, we have red alert. Red alert."

Security began ushering people away from the stages.

Briton Jake Marlowe, 26, who was working as a security guard at the event, messaged friends at around 9am saying he had stayed behind with another friend to help get people out.

Revellers were seen fleeing into surrounding fields to escape. One video showed people heading to fields east of the site while another from north of the festival showed local police setting up a perimeter as festival-goers took cover.

Dashcam footage shows festival-goers shot at point-blank range - 9.30am

Dashcam footage from a vehicle at the site showed members of Hamas taking a man away inside the festival site.

One man could be seen hiding behind a car but he was quickly spotted and executed.

Others were forced to take cover in nearby orchards or play dead as the killing carried on around them.

Woman kidnapped and used for propaganda - 10am

Student Noa Argamani, 25, was among those unable to escape.

She was said to have been hiding with a group who were being murdered.

A video appeared to show her being kidnapped as she was bundled on to a motorbike. She reached out towards her boyfriend who was being marched along on foot.

Her childhood friend, Yad Gorjalstan, said: "We last heard from Noa around 10am and then the next thing we see is her on a Hamas propaganda video."

Footage from later on appeared to show Ms Argamani sat on her own, drinking water.

Meanwhile, Israel’s military spokesperson said at 10am that the air force was carrying out attacks in Gaza.

A video has been released, showing Noa Argamani after her kidnapping
A video has been released, showing Noa Argamani after her kidnapping. Picture: Social media

Hamas gunmen loot through bodies - 12.09pm

More dashcam footage timestamped 12.09pm showed a group of individuals appearing to loot through bodies.

One man was armed while the other carried the stolen items.

Naked victim's body paraded through Gaza

Footage showed Shani Louk, 30, struggling to get to her car which was surrounded by gunmen.

Her mother said they last spoke after she heard rockets and alarms sounding in southern Israel.

"She was going to her car and they had military people standing by the cars and were shooting so people couldn't reach their cars, even to go away," she said. "That's when they took her."

Hours later, a lifeless, semi-naked woman believed to be Ms Louk was paraded through the streets of Gaza in the bed of a truck.

Members of Hamas could be seen sitting on the body and pulling her hair.

Family recognised Ms Louk's distinctive tattoos.