When I first saw the rockets flying above our heads I thought “What a shame”.
But when I was faced with a terrorist with a rifle 20 meters away from me and surrounded by 6 more, I understood that shame wasn’t the right word, maybe fright, or maybe just disbelief that something like this could ever happen in my country.
I arrived at the party at 02:45 AM.
It was my job to bring one of the foreign DJ’s for his set, and until the end of his set everything seemed so great, people were happy, partying, enjoying themselves.
After his set I went onto the dance floor, I like to feel the energy of happy people around me.
At 06:20 AM I went back on to the stage, to film my good friend during his set. The last video on my phone was taken at 06:28AM, just seconds before we noticed that there were rockets overhead. The situation was surreal. We didn’t hear anything as the music was loud but suddenly we saw the rockets in the sky. The next few moments were scary, we shut down the music and yelled to the crowd that there were rockets and everyone should lie down and take cover.
I went backstage, there were around twenty of us sitting there, scared for our lives, but with no clue as to what was coming. After a few minutes someone on the microphone told us all to start leaving the party area as quickly as possible, so I told the DJ I was with that we should run to our car and get out.
We were one of the first cars out of the party. I thought that was lucky, we still had no clue as to what was coming.
Five minutes later we were one of about five cars on the road. I was in the third car and most of the people had stopped on the way to find shelter. I was trying to get back home as fast as I could. The next few minutes are hard to explain, the two cars in front of me suddenly hit the brakes and crashed straight into each other and there was a motorbike on the side of the road with a man lying next to it, I thought they had hit the bike and stopped.
I opened my door to help the wounded when I saw the first terrorist.
He was standing twenty meters in front of me, firing like crazy straight at me, looking straight into my eyes. I yelled at the DJ to get out of the car and take cover, I thought there were soldiers firing back at him but to my horror it was more terrorists. They were all around us, we had nowhere to go. The people who were still alive from the other cars were crawling towards us, injured and scared, we were five people hiding between the cars.
It was a split second decision, I yelled “Everyone get in the car!” and sat in the driver seat. It took too long to release the parking mode of the car and injured people were getting in the back seats. I was so scared, there was a terrorist straight ahead, shooting like crazy with murder in his eyes.
I don’t know how my body managed to make the decision to try and drive out of there but that decision saved my own life and the lives of four other people. I drove backwards and turned when I saw I could, and there were more terrorists waiting, cars colliding as the drivers were shot in front of our eyes, people trying to run and being shot dead on the spot.
In ten seconds I saw more death than I ever had in my life. I saw him, looking at me in the eyes and lifting the gun to shoot us. At that moment, I started driving towards him. No turning back, I stepped on the gas and drove. He shot at us, he was maybe two meters away and barely missed the window. I continued driving while the back of the car was still being fired at, and I didn’t look back.
I had two injured people in the car, one was shot in her leg and another in his hand. My first call was to my friend who was one of the party producers, I wanted to tell them that there was shooting on the road and not to let anyone drive in our direction. This was just minutes before the terrorists arrived at the party itself.
The next thirty minutes were completely focused on getting us to a safe place, with the injured people in the car and none of us knowing how bad we all hurt. Rockets were still flying over our heads every second. We made it to the hospital, the injured were getting medical help and I was just waiting there, not knowing what to do next.
More and more people started to arrive at that hospital. My friends, shot and wounded, bleeding and scared, people crying that they had seen their loved ones killed, parents looking for their children not knowing where they were.
I spent 4 hours in the emergency room, trying to help and calm the people around me.
The rest of the story is not a happy one – I made it home, with only a small scratch on my leg. My friends haven’t.
Hundreds of people are being held by Hamas, hundreds killed and hundreds more missing. We all came to celebrate our freedom and love and were left there bleeding and in pain, there are no words to describe the horrors witnessed by us, children of love and trance.
May all the beautiful souls come home safely.