Music festival survivor recounts harrowing escape from Hamas terrorists: ‘They hunted us for hours’

(NEW YORK) — A woman who fled for her life as Hamas terrorists gunned down festivalgoers in southern Israel is sharing the terrifying details of her survival.

Daniel Levi, who was working at the Supernova music festival when the attack unfolded, recalled dozens of terrorists “filled the sky” around 6:30 a.m. Saturday near the Gaza border, descending as the crowd celebrated the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

“They just started shooting, and the sky was full of rockets,” she said in an interview on ABC News Live.

The 31-year-old said she knew she “needed to stay in an open field” in order to survive the attack.

For the next half hour, Levi and her two friends, Nicole and Elaine, stayed put. When they heard gunfire in the distance, Levi told her friends they were involved in “an extreme situation” and they needed to evacuate the area.

The group went to their car, where they crossed paths with a friend who worked as a security guard at the event. He told them “a suicider” was located in the road, and urged the group to follow him to wait together.

According to Levi, the attack lasted 10 minutes, with Hamas terrorists targeting festivalgoers from the east and the north as they sought refuge.

“They [shot] at us everywhere,” she said. “And then, we couldn’t hide. We didn’t have anywhere to go.”

While police and security guards attempted to fight on the road against Hamas, Levi and her friends ran back towards the festival area.

In a matter of seconds, the group had to make a difficult decision — whether to run through a field towards Gaza, where Hamas fighters would potentially kill them, or hide in the trees in a eucalyptus forest.

“We decided to go to the trees,” she recalled. “We were just trying to stay alive. They hunted us for six hours.”

Levi said the “suiciders” were always behind them, and she could hear people running for their lives, screaming while being shot. She explained they stayed low beneath the trees and removed leaves from underneath their shoes to avoid being heard as they fled.

“We had nowhere to hide,” she continued. “It wasn’t humanized. They just – they killed everyone.”

Levi relied on Google Maps for assistance and spoke with her uncle, a commander in the Army who is familiar with navigating extreme situations, begging him to send help. Acting on impulse, she also notified police, telling them to track her phone in real-time in hopes they would aid in their rescue.

Messaging back and forth with friends, Levi was able to determine which villages were occupied by Hamas and were unsafe to seek refuge in.

The women hid in the trees for six hours and then decided to run into an open field, heading towards a stream. As they fled, Hamas terrorists were seen traveling on jeeps, “hunting” whoever came across their path.

“We decided to run,” Levi said. “We had no other choice.”

When they arrived at the stream, the women took cover near some bamboo, leaning against a wall while checking to see if anyone could see them. One hour later, the group noticed a car driving by. It turned out to be the police.

“Thank god they were the real police,” Levi said. “Most of the suiciders wore police and soldier uniforms so they [could] abduct and kill people on the road.”

The police transported the women to an area called Patish, where they were provided with food and water, and were able to charge Levi’s phone. She credits being the only one with a phone as part of the reason they were rescued.

“I was the only one who can speak with the world, and like, ask for help and let them know where we are, and ask what happened so we can get out of there alive,” she said.

Reflecting on the attack, Levi, now home safe and beside her family, says she “hopes everything will be okay.”

“I want everyone to be OK here,” she said. “We are strong. We are united.”

Fighting has been ongoing since Hamas launched its attack on Israel from air, land and sea on Saturday. More than 200 bodies were removed from the music festival venue, according to an Israeli rescue service.

At least 1,200 people have died and 2,900 others have been injured in Israel, Israeli authorities said. According to Palestinian authorities, at least 1,100 people have died, and 5,339 have been injured in Gaza.

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