Some people rushed across the desert, some hid in the bushes, and some tried to escape in their cars, only to be ambushed and kidnapped by Hamas militants who breached the border between southern Israel and the Gaza Strip.
They were among thousands attending the Supernova music festival as the rocket flew toward Israel in the early hours of Saturday morning. A spokesman for ZAKA, an Israeli non-governmental rescue and recovery organization, said a total of 260 people died in the incident.
New drone footage released by first responders sheds light on the aftermath of the deadly attack, showing dozens of damaged cars strewn on roads along the festival area. Some were turned upside down, others were scorched beyond recognition, a microcosm of the violence concertgoers were subjected to.
Many people tried to escape into vehicles parked in the Negev desert, but the road was quickly blocked; video taken later that morning and verified by NBC News showed the festival was directly ambushed by armed men.
Many fled further into the desert, with footage showing some holding their breath behind bushes to hide from passing militants, while others ran for their lives in the vast wilderness.
As the number of injuries continues to mount, paramedics like Jan Gorjastan are fielding a flood of emergency calls. Little did he know at the time that his friend of 15 years, Noa Argamani, who had been attending the rave party, had been kidnapped by armed men. Only after returning home did he see the video of her being taken away.
“As soon as I saw her, I knew she was 100 percent like this,” he said, adding that Agamani loved to party and travel.
Until the weekend, Gojasthan had never seen her without a smile, he said. But soon after learning of her abduction, he saw her in a video showing her being held captive in the Gaza Strip.
“The scariest thing was the sound of her voice and the look of terror on her face,” he said.
“You could see the fear in her when she said, ‘I don’t want to die.'”
Noah’s father, Shamal, was eager for her to return over the weekend.
“I thought tomorrow would be a new day and she would come back,” he said.
Music festivals are common in Israel and attract large local and international crowds. They usually last for several days, often without a break.
The festival was originally an outlet for young partygoers to let off steam, but has become one of the top targets of militants.
“I have a lot of friends who may have been kidnapped as well, but no one knows about it because Noah is one of the only people who has the footage and confirms that she is alive and in captivity,” Gogalstein said.
“There are dozens or hundreds of families like us who are seeking help for their sons and daughters,” he said.