A helicopter gunship fired into the close to distance in Gaza and a cloud of black smoke started to rise as I walked alongside the street that results in the scene of the worst terror assault in Israeli historical past.
An outside celebration – a competition, a rave, name it what you want – however just some hundred metres from the place I used to be standing, the Israeli defence forces are nonetheless attempting to determine and take away the our bodies of over 250 younger women and men killed in a bloodthirsty orgy of violence by Hamas killers.
On that feeder street, the our bodies of the Hamas gunmen nonetheless lay the place they had been killed.
Some lay subsequent to broken autos slewed into ditches, or in fields the place they had been shot by Israeli troopers.
The massacre at the Supernova dance music festival close to Re’im will go down in Israeli historical past because the second this nation realised it was not invincible.
In a wise house in Tel Aviv, I met two survivors of the bloodbath, Hai Cohen and Noam Kenner.
They’re clearly in shock, holding again tears as they inform me how the assault unfolded.
“Round 6.30 within the morning for the primary time we began to see rockets over our heads, after which after just a few seconds, or possibly minutes, the police stopped the music and alert us that there’s a siren and it is an actual factor,” 31-year-old Hai defined.
At first, the buddies thought the preliminary sirens and rockets had been simply a part of the same old bombardments they’ve come to dwell with, and even took just a few selfies to ship to their family and friends whereas they hunkered down.
After they realised this assault was one thing way more critical, they ran for Hai’s automotive and tried to depart.
He defined how they drove for his or her lives.
Hai stated: “When the capturing begins, I instantly push the gasoline after which go to the sphere that was on there on the best to me, I proceeded to push the 4×4 button and I began driving.
“I used to be listening to the capturing, they hit the automotive, and we noticed their jeeps and their bikes of Hamas pushing younger kids underneath impact of medication and alcohol… no heroic state of affairs, they simply butchered them.”
Noam, 22, says the automotive park for the Supernova competition was filled with automobiles, and that there was an enormous site visitors jam of individuals attempting to get out.
“It is as a result of lots of people have been within the celebration and lots of people include automobiles, so yeah, you are caught in there, you’ve gotten an enormous street of automobiles which might be ready to go to the exit, however they keep in a single place, they are not shifting,” she stated.
Hai decided that seemingly saved their lives – as a substitute of ready within the site visitors jam, they determined it was greatest to drive throughout the fields in the other way to the place they thought the capturing was coming from.
Dodging bullets and driving wildly off-road by means of a discipline, they managed to select up three individuals who had escaped kibbutz Re’im.
“I actually heard the [bullets] whistle, I feel it is essentially the most terrifying factor I have been by means of as a result of it is actually subsequent to you, you possibly can really feel it,” Noam defined.
“However you do not have time to suppose, you simply react to it,” Hai provides.
“After just a few metres – one thing like 200, 300 metres – we succeeded in going to the primary street, and at our proper it is the Gaza Strip, and the army base they had been attacking.
“We did not know which means they had been attacking, and to our left this was the butchering that you simply noticed in movies.”
After a frantic drive, a change of tyre, and a drive by means of a fruit discipline with Noam navigating on Google Maps to ensure they did not drive into Gaza, Hai managed to drive himself, Noam and the others they rescued to security.
A lot of those that stayed within the site visitors jam within the automotive park had been killed or taken hostage.
And when Noam thinks about what occurred, she realises how shut she got here to being one in every of them.
“Once I keep in mind, I realised that within the different street – the left street, that was site visitors in attempting to exit – the terrorists simply include the gun and shoot all people in these automobiles.
“And I keep in mind that I [wanted] to go on this street, as a result of I believed it is the way in which out,” she stated, changing into emotional as she spoke.
Each Hai and Noam are nonetheless sporting their blue competition wristbands – Hai says it is as a result of he needs to recollect what occurred.
Noam remains to be coming to phrases with how a enjoyable competition, attended by individuals from all around the world, changed into Israel’s deadliest terror assault.
She stated: “No one realised what was occurring, no one realised that it will be this big state of affairs.
“No one realised a terrorist was going to come back and kill lots of people – harmless people who simply wish to be with their associates, be completely satisfied and go to the celebration.”