Survivor of Israeli music festival massacre recalls seeing bodies burning and hiding for hours

‘Body parts were flying around and all I heard around was people suffocating.’

By The Algemeiner

A young woman who survived the massacre at the Supernova electronic dance music festival in Israel on Oct. 7 — the day Hamas infiltrated the Jewish state and began killing over 1,400 Israelis — fought to hold back tears as she recounted her experience while speaking to an audience at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue in Washington, DC, on Tuesday.

Noa Ben Artzi, a 25-year-old industrial engineering student from Israel, said the attack at the music festival began in the early hours of the morning when she heard what she thought were fireworks but were really rocket attacks.

“Chaos was in front of me. Hundreds of people were running towards me. When I looked up in the sky, I saw hundreds of rockets above me. That’s when I started panicking,” said Ben Artzi, who has a brother currently serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

She and her group of friends then split into cars and tried unsuccessfully to drive away from the scene of the attack. She then took cover in a small cement shelter with around 30-40 other concertgoers.

“The next thing I heard is ‘they’re coming,’ and that’s when 30 people fell on top of me,” she said while clutching to the podium and trying to keep her composure.

“Everyone wanted to save their life and get to the back of the shelter … Next thing I know, they’re throwing live grenades inside, body parts are flying around, and all I hear around me is people suffocating, people on top of another and a lot of shots from within. That’s when I realized there’s a huge body on top of me and his head is on my throat and fire is starting in the entrance.”

Ben Arzi said the fire was from the bodies that the Hamas terrorists burned at the entrance to the shelter, which was filling with smoke. Some people fled the shelter but were shot when they stepped outside.

Ben Arzi recalled hiding inside the shelter and inhaling the smoke from the dead bodies for three-and-a-half hours. “I thought about my family and I had one question: Why do I deserve to suffocate until I die?” she said.

As Ben Arzi became more emotional while retelling her story, her brother, who accompanied her on stage, comforted her.

Her best friend and her best friend’s sister — both American citizens — were killed or taken hostage during the attack.

Ben Arzi said she wanted to speak out about her experience in the memory of her friends killed at the music festival, and all the innocent civilians murdered or kidnapped by Hamas.

“Even though on the outside I don’t look like I have scars and I might only have a fracture in my elbow, the biggest scar that I have is in my soul,” she said. “Just like my soul is aching, all of Israel is aching, and their hearts are broken.”

More than 200 people were murdered at the music festival by Hamas terrorists, who also took dozens of hostages back to the Gaza Strip during their rampage through southern Israel.

Tuesday’s event at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue was organized by the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations and attended by US government officials and Jewish leaders.

Congressional leaders who spoke on stage expressed their support for Israel, drew comparisons between Hamas’ onslaught against Israel and the Holocaust, and spoke of rising antisemitism around the world.

Hundreds of survivors of the Supernova music festival gathered for a night of solidarity, unity, and music in Israel on Monday night. Musicians also attended, as well as therapists including psychiatrists.

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