Rockets are fired from Gaza City towards Israel on October 7, 2023.
Majdi Fathi/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Two women who attended Israel’s Nova festival are missing.Their father said he fears they have been raped or left in a ditch in Gaza.About 260 bodies were recovered from the grounds of the Nova music festival, an NGO said.
The distressed father of two women who have gone missing after attending the Nova music festival in southern Israel said that he fears his children may have been dumped in a ditch somewhere in Gaza.
Uri David, who spoke at a press conference held by the family members of missing Israelis, addressed his concerns on Sunday.
He said in a teary speech that he last spoke to his daughters on the phone on Saturday morning while they lay on the ground, terrified, as Hamas militants targeted festival-goers as part of their surprise attack on Israel.
David said he advised his daughters to play dead by staying still and holding their breath — a survival strategy used by some of the festival-goers to avoid being killed.
But, he relayed at the conference, he heard deep breaths before the call went silent, marking the last communication he had with his daughters.
He said at the conference: “I close my eyes and I don’t know where they are. They’re either getting raped in Gaza or they’re lying in a ditch, half an hour from me, and I can’t do anything? Someone has to stop this.”
The festival took place near Urim, a kibbutz about 13 miles from the Gaza Strip.
David told reporters that the group of family members missing relatives is calling on the Israeli government to give them answers.
“We know they won’t all be happy answers,” he added, per The Times of Israel.
About 260 bodies were recovered from the grounds of the Nova music festival, said a spokesperson for ZAKA, an Israeli NGO rescue and recovery organization, according to multiple media outlets.
Many other attendees are still unaccounted for.
The death toll in Israel has risen to more than 700, the Israel Defense Forces said on Sunday.