The Iron Lions

Testimonials from the war in israel, Oct 23'

Amitai Nagar

Nova Festival

This is an eyewitness testimony of a participant in the "Nova Party" near the Gaza Envelope, when terrorists arrived to massacre and murder the party attendees.

"On Saturday 7/10/23 we were at a party. We arrived at 1:00 am, ready for an evening of fun, to celebrate, dance and enjoy – a party we had been waiting for a long time and the moment had arrived.

Everything was pink and beautiful, until in an instant everything turned into a black screen.

It started at 6:30 am when we heard interceptions of missiles in the skies in huge quantities and we didn't really understand what it was, until we looked up at the sky and saw they were missiles.

We still didn't know about the terrorist infiltration and the massive disaster that awaited us.

For us it was just missiles, but still the first thought was to leave the party – get in the car and start heading back home.

We got in the car and started leaving the party area, and when we got to the main road there we saw a huge traffic jam of vehicles. There were lots of confused people and a bottleneck of cars. It didn't seem like we'd be able to move forward with the car anytime soon.

All this is happening while above our heads the missiles continue (the missiles became background noise).

Back to the traffic jam.

We saw we couldn't move forward with the car and decided to get out to try and understand what's going on. We got out, everyone was confused, and we're wondering what to do. After a few minutes we hear a shout – which was actually the "opening shot" of the whole nightmare.

"Everyone, run! There are terrorists!" shouted one of the security guards who was with us in the jam. We started running to the open area eastward, just running. Some were hiding, some staying in their cars and the rest – running.

We ran towards the open area and after a few seconds we simply heard gunfire towards us, non-stop gunfire, and we found ourselves fleeing while at the same time trying to find a hiding place to take cover.

We hid for a certain number of minutes and after that we heard another burst of gunfire (and this time closer, at a level of bullets hitting the ground near us). We started running again with all our might because we understood they were just meters from us – and so it was, we ran forward without knowing where, the main thing was to escape.

Bullets were whistling over our heads and we simply knew we mustn't stop and mustn't look back, because if you do either of those two things – you die.

We ran into the unknown, thinking every second a terrorist or terrorists could pop up from any direction in the area looking to kill us.

As we were running and fighting for our lives we were shouting to the heavens and wondering...

Where is the IDF? Where are the security forces? Why is no one protecting us? We were in absolute uncertainty, it's just us – me and my friends and about 300 other people simply fleeing.

But there is no answer, neither from the heavens nor the earth.

So we keep running because we understand no one will protect us except ourselves.

Right now this is the essence of two hours of escape.

We slowly distanced ourselves from the party area, but gunfire still frequently reached us from all kinds of places that simply caused us to continue running and fleeing.

All this time I'm in touch with my uncle Boaz Nagar who helped guide us, updated us on the situation and get information about what's going on around us – where it's preferable to run, which really helped us understand where we were and what's happening around us.

Only after a few hours of running do we see a single helicopter in the sky that hopefully at least saw us and knows we're here. After many kilometers of running and hours of fleeing, our spirits started to calm down a bit, but we still didn’t know exactly where to run. We always kept moving to get further from the party area.

It's hard for us, the sun is strong, we have no water, and especially – no hope.

Suddenly we identify a police officer who ran with us the whole way (who himself looked hopeless and desperate) but he was in touch with the few security forces who were in the area and he directed us towards the town of Patish, which was the only safe town in the area.

After much running we reached the Patish town area and then hope started coming back a little. We saw cars of Jews, Israelis in the distance, and knew we had to get there.

With the last strength we had left, we continued walking in that direction of Patish, and just as we reached the entrance to the town, an amazing young man from Patish picked us up in his car and took all of us to his house to take shelter and relax. We arrived at his house, rested, ate, drank and there's no doubt he and his family saved us and calmed us down.

Afterwards we got to a central area of Patish and from there buses took us towards Be'er Sheva (with police escort of course). In Be'er Sheva, our families picked us up to go home.

Throughout all the running and the whole escape journey, our minds were filled with worry for our friends who hid and didn't run with us, for our friends we didn't see at all. What about them? Are they okay? What was their fate?

Today some of us know, and sadly a large group of friends whose fate we still don't know.

It was one big nightmare, a nightmare that ended. We are full of questions and wonders about the whole situation. And until today – without answers, sadly.