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Israeli music festival survivor describes horror of Hamas-led attack that left 260 dead

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An Israeli survivor of the brutal assault on a music festival in southern Israel on Saturday described the shock and horror she witnessed, as bullets whizzed over her head and rockets crashed around her during a surprise attack led by Hamas terrorists that killed hundreds of Israelis.

Millet Ben Haim appeared on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning, when she said she and her friends were among thousands dancing and having a good time at the Tribe of Nova Trance music festival, which was held in an open field near Kibbutz Re’im on Saturday, when she experienced a horror that left more than 260 Israelis dead.

“We had the festival going on [and] at 6:30 [a.m.], the music stopped, and we started hearing sirens and rockets,” she told host Kayleigh McEnany. “It was all over the sky. We had to run away. No one really knew what to do.”

“The shooting was all the time. We could hear the whistle above our heads. We knew if we stood up we were going to get killed,” she continued. “And the rockets never stopped. We heard a lot of screaming in Arabic and a lot of screaming of our friends asking for help, but we couldn’t, we couldn’t help them. And thank God, we were eventually rescued.”

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Millet Ben Haim

Millet Ben Haim appeared on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday morning, when she said she and her friends were dancing and having a good time at the Tribe of Nova Trance music festival on Saturday, when she experienced a horror that left more than 260 Israelis dead. (Fox News)

Haim explained that she saw a panic overtake the crowd as some people immediately turned and ran while others remained still and in shock. She and her friends quickly rushed into their car and drove across a field towards a road.

They attempted to drive farther away when they were stopped by a group that warned them about a large group of terrorists farther down the road.

“So, we went the other way, but then we saw the terrorists on the other way as well,” she said. “There was a lot of shooting in the air all the time, and we realized we had to ditch our car and start running towards the field.”

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So they did, she explained. She and her friends ran as fast and as far as they could to escape the violence.

“Wherever we went, we had a lot of people shooting at us and people screaming,” the Israeli said, noting she initially started running with hundreds of others but “started seeing people falling.”

A photo of the festival

More than 1,000 people attended the Tribe of Nova Trance music festival, which was held in an open field near Kibbutz Re’im on Saturday, when Hamas terrorists attacked the venue. (Fox News)

“I don’t know if they were killed or kidnapped or just fell down,” she remarked.

The group ran “for two or three hours” and were too exhausted to continue, so they decided to hide.

“We were surrounded by Hamas, so I decided to hide under a tree with my friends. We were four girls. We stayed silent, and we covered ourselves with leaves,” she said.

“For over six hours, we laid down like that,” Haim said. “We called the police, who told us they’d do their best but we were pretty much on our own cause there were so many people being kidnapped and murdered; and that Hamas was taking over so many villages so they [police] can’t really reach us.”

Cars on a road

This image from video provided by South First Responders shows charred and damaged cars along a desert road after an attack by Hamas militants at the Tribe of Nova Trance music festival near Kibbutz Re’im in southern Israel on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. (South First Responders via AP)

“I tried to contact my family and friends to tell them I love them and that I am hidden somewhere and see if they can somehow help us,” she added.

Haim said she was ultimately rescued by “this amazing angel person,” who she described as a random person who started rescuing people from the festival.

“There are still people out there waiting for rescue,” she said, noting the area remained “dangerous” to navigate.

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Haim’s horrifying account has been shared by other attendees of the festival, including Noem Manket, who said she and her friends “danced and we smiled… then [moments later] there were rockets all around us.”

Arik Nani from Tel Aviv, who had gone to the party to celebrate his 26th birthday, told The Associated Press he and his friends “were hiding and running, hiding and running, in an open field — the worst place you could possibly be in that situation.”

“This is a trauma like I could never imagine,” he added.

Maya Alper, 25, similarly jumped into her car and raced to the main road. However, at the intersection, she encountered crowds of stricken festival attendees shouting at drivers to turn around. Panicked men and women staggering down the road just in front of her fell to the ground in pools of blood.

As the carnage unfolded before her, Alper pulled a few disoriented-looking revelers into her car from the street and accelerated in the opposite direction, including one girl who said she just saw a Hamas terrorist shoot her friend.

Nowhere was safe, Alper told The Associated Press.

She felt a bullet whiz past her left ear. Aware the gunmen would outrun her, she plunged into a tangle of shrubs. Peering through thorns, she said she saw one of her passengers, the girl who had lost her friend, shriek and collapse as a gunman stood over her limp body, grinning.

“I can’t even explain the energy they (the militants) had. It was so clear they didn’t see us as human beings,” she said. “They looked at us with pure, pure hate.”

Rockets in the sky

Rockets are fired toward Israel from the Gaza Strip, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023. The rockets were fired as Hamas announced a new operation against Israel. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)

Thousands of young men and women gathered in the vast field in southern Israel near the Gaza border to dance without a care. Friends jumping up and down and reveling in the swirl of the bass-heavy beats turned to horror as Hamas-led forces attacked Israel’s border.

Dozens of Hamas militants who had blown through Israel’s heavily fortified separation fence and crossed into the country from Gaza opened fire on about 3,500 young Israelis who had come together for a joyous night of electronic music to celebrate the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

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Many of the terrorists, who arrived in trucks and on motorcycles, were wearing body armor and brandishing AK-47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades.

Just after 6.a.m., as the headliner D.J. took the stage, air raid sirens cut through the ethereal trap music. Rockets streaked overhead.

Saturday’s attack on the open-air Tribe of Nova music festival is believed to be the worst civilian massacre in Israeli history. The party was held about 3.3 miles from the wall that separates Gaza from southern Israel.

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