Over 1,400 Israelis Were Murdered

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I was sure they would burn me alive, but God above watched over me

Hello, my name is Dotan D., and I was at the Nova Festival. Everything started well, pure innocence, with lots…

I was sure they would burn me alive, but God above watched over me

Hello, my name is Dotan D., and I was at the Nova Festival.

Everything started well, pure innocence, with lots of free love and beautiful faces… We all waited together for the sunrise… the sunrise is the most beautiful. Thousands of people with one united, beautiful, and pure goal, to see the sunrise.

Instead of sunrise, we got a heavy barrage of rockets over our heads. They stopped the music, told us to leave the area, and that’s what we did. Everyone ran for their lives.

I came to the party with my good friend Daniel Goltman, may he rest in peace… and his girlfriend Dana Petrenco, who is missing. We were with so many friends there, all of them such good people… and so beautiful…

When the alarms started, I had one percent [battery]. I called Daniel so we could join up, and we did. As we moved towards the cars, we joined Amit Magnezi, may he rest in peace… We moved on, we were scared, some with full blown panic attacks, but we were focused, with a survival instinct.

We ran towards the cars, got in the car, and started driving.

Ahead of us was a traffic jam of many cars and behind us, too; we were sure we would be there for hours, and suddenly… suddenly we saw everyone running towards us like a stampede. And then I heard it; I heard gunshots, explosions, grenades, RPGs, and God knows what else. (Here I got separated from Amit. We ran from the car, and I was left only with Daniel, may he rest in peace, and Dana).

We ran for our lives, I left all my things there and just ran along with thousands of other people in an open field, and you can see EVERYTHING.

You run and next to you people are falling, some of them tell you they are going to stop running and sit next to a tree and put up their hands; and some are doubled over and can’t respond at all!

It’s unimaginable.

We ran and reached some concrete building. There were so many people there.

I spoke with my parents while I was in the building, and there’s shooting everywhere, and I’m saying goodbye to them.

My dad grabbed the phone and just told me to run, not to trust anyone but myself, to go dig a hole, to keep hiding and moving, and not to stop! And especially not to approach towns, and that’s how the call was disconnected..

I told my friends in the building to run with me, that the shooting is getting closer and we can’t stay here… so many people I knew… My friend’s girlfriend couldn’t respond, and Daniel just hugged her, courageously protected her with his body, and didn’t move… I screamed at them to RUN, there’s no TIME, the window of opportunity was closing, and I just started to run and flee for my life, alone, sure that it’s the end.

I ran from the parking area deep into the area of the party. Those were the longest 300 meters I had ever run in my life. You run, fall, roll on the ground with bullets whistling past you on all sides.

When I reached the open area, I got in a car with someone and told him, I don’t care what you see on the way, you just run over it. As we started driving out of the area, a pickup truck full of terrorists carrying machine guns and Kalashnikovs came towards us. We swerved and fled while I was speaking with my dad and telling him they are on our rear and we are getting bursts of machine-gun fire from every direction… I told him, “I love you,” and hung up.

We drove to the party area until the trail ended, and you see you have nowhere to continue. With the Arab pickup truck still chasing us, we jumped out of the car, and everyone just starts to run, run into the depths of the forest, and there are bursts of gunfire and rockets in every direction. By then, I was all alone.

Miraculously I found water bottles on the paths, it was so hot you couldn’t imagine, and later, while I was running, I took with me large bushes, branches, anything that could hide me.

I hid next to a large tree, started to dig a hole the size of a fetus, got into it, and covered myself with sand, vegetation, branches, anything I found.

When I was still down there and hours had passed, I started thinking the worst. I didn’t know I would stay alive to tell this story.

Suddenly, I heard voices in Arabic and lots of shooting towards the bushes and trees, shooting at people to confirm killing, and everything was happening above my head.

50 bloodthirsty terrorists looking for boys and girls among the trees to slaughter them, and I hear everything, their screams as they run and the burst of gunfire that killed them… at some point, they surrounded me while I was in the hole, they were dozens.

I was sure they would burn me alive, but God above watched over me, a providence I can’t explain.

(Daniel Goltman – may he rest in peace)

At one point, I thought they had gone, I raised my head and suddenly saw a terrorist in front of my eyes with an axe. I immediately lowered my head back.. I don’t want to tell you where my heart was… luckily he didn’t see me, thanks again to God above who watched over me and didn’t let them see me.

After a few hours of silence, I decided to get out of the hole and move on foot. I tried to go to the party area to see if there was a weapon from the security guards, something that could protect me. But as soon as I got close, I saw what I saw (bodies of boys and girls whose only sin was that they wanted to fucking dance and be happy) and I couldn’t get close…

I also heard the terrorists were still in the party area, so I continued in another direction, and there I met a guy named “Dor”. A hero! Before I met him, he had fought the terrorists with axes and sticks so that his girlfriend could escape and he could delay them, and not only did he manage to hold them off, but he also escaped them. And that was how I met them, with his whole head open and with a broken hand.

I immediately brought them the water bottle I had, and we simply ran for our lives for at least two hours.

We ran through thorns, when the only thing you can think of is escaping.

And suddenly we saw a white car driving towards us, we ran as fast as we could until they shouted, “IDF, IDF”, and so I yelled back! I shouted, “IDF!! WE’RE HERE!” And that’s how I managed to get out of there.

I still haven’t processed it all. Things keep rising up to the surface…

Thank God Almighty.

(Amit Magnezi – may he rest in peace)

May God avenge the blood of all my friends who were brutally slaughtered there! May their memory be a blessing!

P.S.: Despite all the horrors you read in my story, this story is meant to give hope to parents of missing children. Don’t despair! My heart breaks for my sisters and brothers, our fighters, and our citizens, both in Nova and in the towns! We have a strong army, and this time, we are not backing down!

Dotan D.