Nova Music Festival Massacre and Memorial
Nova Music Festival was an outdoor trance music festival set for the night of October 6th, 2023, in Re’im forest, some 5 km east of the Gaza Strip. Billed as a celebration of “Friends, Love, and Infinite Freedom”, the festival attracted about 3,500 celebrators, primarily young Israelis. It had three stages, a camping zone, and a food court.
The Hamas Attack
On October 7th at 6:29, Hamas launched a mass terrorist attack on Israel, infiltrating from 30 locations along the Gaza-Israel border. About 3000 Hamas militants assaulted army bases and Israeli towns and farms based on carefully plotted surprise attacks.
The terrorists were not aware of the music festival, but reaching the site, they surrounded the festival grounds and fired indiscriminately at those trying to escape. Those reaching their cars were trapped in a traffic jam as militants fired at vehicles, including rocket-propelled grenades (RPG). They also chased those trying to hide in bushes and orchards.
Some of the attendees hid in bomb shelters, yet the Hamas killed most of them by throwing grenades into the shelter. The events were recorded by car dash cameras and by the Hamas militants themselves, who published their footage on their telegram channel.
In this attack, the Hamas raped, mutilated, beheaded, burnt, slaughtered, and shot 364 of the attendees, party staff, police security, and medical service personnel. He also kidnapped at least 40 attendees, and as of February 2024, he released four of them (Maya and Itai Regev, Mia Shem, and Roni Koriboi).
Families of the victims established several memorials at the party site, and in January 2024, the JNF planted a memorial forest of 364 pine trees nearby. The burnt and damaged cars of the event were collected and placed near Netivot.
Visting the Nova Music Festival Memorial Site
The site is 500 m east of Road 232, near Kibbutz Reim. The visit is a deeply emotional and reflective experience.