Videos show young Israelis fleeing in panic when Palestinian militants invaded a music festival in the desert

Palestinian militants ride an Israeli military vehicle that was seized by gunmen who infiltrated areas of southern Israel, in the northern Gaza Strip.

Ahmed Zakot/REUTERS

Israelis fled a religious festival in the desert after Palestinian militants invaded it. 
The militant organization Hamas has fired thousands of rockets into Israel in a surprise attack. 
Palestinian militants are infiltrating Israeli territory by land, sea, and even on paragliders. 

Hundreds of Israelis fled an outdoor festival in the desert in a panic when Palestinian militants invaded it, videos on social media show.

The attack on the festival came amid a wave of surprise raids by the Palestinian militant group into southern Israel on Saturday.

One attendee, named Daniel, told the Israeli outlet, Walla!: “We were alerted by a ‘red siren’ [rocket warning]. Chaos ensued, especially with vehicles trying to exit. Then the gunshots started, and we began to run. We’re still hiding and awaiting rescue,” per The Jerusalem Post.

One video on X posted by the user @jengelmayer has racked up over 300,000 views and shows a scene of chaos in the desert. Israelis are seen shouting, running, and getting into cars as they attempt to escape the scene. 

The video is captioned: “Palestinian terrorists invaded a festival where hundreds of Israelis were camping out for the Shemini Atzeret holiday. The panic caused by this is evident on the fades [faces] of the civilians being targeted by heavily armed militants. Pray for Israel.” 

—Jay Engelmayer (@jengelmayer) October 7, 2023


Another video posted on X of the same scene shows hundreds of Israelis running and others driving away in cars packed with people. 

It’s captioned: “Israelis running from cities to deserts by foot, car and any other means.”

—The_anonymous_wave (@anonymouswave1) October 7, 2023


Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared a state of war on Saturday after the Palestinian militant organization Hamas launched an attack by firing thousands of rockets from Gaza into southern and central Israel. 

There have also been reports of Palestinian militants invading Israeli territory by land and sea — some even using paragliders. Armed gunmen are infiltrating Israeli communities by crossing the border fence in several locations and gun fights in the streets of town has been reported.

In a rare statement, Hamas’ military commander Mohammed Deif called on Palestinians in Israel and neighboring Arab countries to join the attack, which he has dubbed “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm,” per the Washington Post. Deif admitted that Hamas had already launched over 5,000 rockets into Israel. 

The attack is being considered one of the biggest from Palestinian territory in years, according to the New York Times.

The attack comes during the Jewish holy festival of Shemini Atzeret and a day after Israel marked the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.

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