She then hid under the stage, covered herself with the blood of another victim and played dead while gunmen walked among the bodies. “If you think Hamas is an organization acting in self-defense, know that they are terrorists. They want us dead, they can’t justify any of this and they don’t care.” she said. “Eventually they will reach other countries as well. I hope you get it before it’s too late.” she added.
Hayat’s eyes filled with tears as she returned to the scene of the massacre for the first time since she escaped. The corpses and much of the rubble had been removed, leaving her unable to find the place where she had been hiding for so long. She jumped nervously every time she heard a loud noise and at one point threw herself to the ground when she heard what sounded like rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
Although visiting the place brought tears to her eyes, she wiped them away and did not cry again. Describing the horrific day, she said Hamas began firing rockets around 7:30 a.m. while festival-goers were dancing.
The shooting began when Hamas gunmen arriving from the Gaza Strip arrived at the music festival, some on foot, others on motorbikes. Speaking about being discovered in hiding by a Hamas fighter, she said: “At that time, I just talked to God and said, ‘There’s nothing I can do, it’s in your hands now.'”
She was saved by the pity of a Hamas fighter
“I thought they were going to rape me.” The man hiding with her was shot dead, but Hayat said she managed to escape after one of the two gunmen holding her took pity on her.
“He just told me to go. The other terrorist was arguing with him, he told him he wanted to kill me, and I saw them arguing about whether to kill me or not, and I ran away.” she described. She then hid under the stage.
“While I was lying under the stage, I saw them shooting people to make sure they were all dead,” she said. “So I took the blood from the body that was lying next to me, which had a shot through the head, and I smeared it on my face. Then I lay still and pretended to be dead,” she added.
Her ordeal ended when Israeli soldiers arrived hours after the Hamas attack began. “When I heard the army coming, it took me a few minutes to believe that it was actually the army. I started calling for help and they came and pulled me out.” he remembers.
About 1,400 Israelis, mostly civilians, were killed and more than 200 were kidnapped in the October 7 attacks by Hamas. Since then, Israeli attacks on Gaza have killed more than 10,000 people, about 40% of whom were children.