Guy Ben Shimon (left) spoke at a hearing for a State Audit Commission on the treatment of survivors, focusing on the alleged failures of Israeli state bodies to look after the victims of the attack

Nearly 50 traumatised Israeli revellers have killed themselves since Nova festival was attacked by Hamas on October 7 with others sectioned due to psychiatric issues, survivor tells parliament

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Nearly 50 Israelis in attendance at the Nova Festival attack have taken their own lives since the October 7 attack, with others sectioned over psychiatric issues, a survivor claimed during an emotional speech in parliament today.

Guy Ben Shimon spoke at a hearing for a State Audit Commission on the treatment of survivors, focusing on the alleged failures of Israeli state bodies to look after the victims of the attack.

‘Few people know, but there have been almost 50 suicides among the Nova survivors,’ he claimed. ‘This number, which was true two months ago, may have increased since.’

Authorities have disputed the claim, according to state-owned Kan 11 TV. In January, the Health Ministry insisted that there had been no rise in suicide rates since October 7.

Ben Shimon spoke alongside a number of survivors amid repeated complaints from victims and former hostages of inadequate care since the assault.

‘There are many survivors who had to be forcibly hospitalized due to their psychological state,’ he claimed.

‘I am practically unable to do anything. I had to get a dog to help me survive in my daily life. The goal for all of us is to return to work and function normally, but we cannot do it without adequate help.’

More than 360 people were killed at the Nova festival near Re’im when Hamas gunmen swept in on the morning of October 7, indiscriminately targeting festivalgoers with assault rifles.

Guy Ben Shimon (left) spoke at a hearing for a State Audit Commission on the treatment of survivors, focusing on the alleged failures of Israeli state bodies to look after the victims of the attack

Guy Ben Shimon (left) spoke at a hearing for a State Audit Commission on the treatment of survivors, focusing on the alleged failures of Israeli state bodies to look after the victims of the attack

Orly Efraim reacts near the marker of her niece Eden Liza Auhaion, who was killed on the October 7 Hamas deadly attack at the Nova music festival on April 7, 2024 in Re'im, Israel

Orly Efraim reacts near the marker of her niece Eden Liza Auhaion, who was killed on the October 7 Hamas deadly attack at the Nova music festival on April 7, 2024 in Re’im, Israel

Festivalgoers flee as Hamas gunmen storm the event on October 7 last year

Festivalgoers flee as Hamas gunmen storm the event on October 7 last year

Charred and damaged cars along a desert road after an attack by Hamas militants at the Tribe of Nova Trance music festival near Kibbutz Re'im in southern Israel on Saturday, October 7

Charred and damaged cars along a desert road after an attack by Hamas militants at the Tribe of Nova Trance music festival near Kibbutz Re’im in southern Israel on Saturday, October 7

An Israeli officer walks around a campsite at the festival near Re'im kibbutz on October 17

An Israeli officer walks around a campsite at the festival near Re’im kibbutz on October 17

The hearing on Tuesday saw a number of survivors come forwards with concerns about how they had been treated since the horror unfolded a little over six months ago.

“Why should I constantly prove what I experienced?’ said Na’ama Eitan, another survivor of the attack. ‘Why am I forced to go back to the details of what I experienced for them to believe me?’

Israel ‘is preventing UN investigators from speaking to victims and witnesses of the October 7 Hamas attack’ 

Israel is preventing UN investigators from speaking to witnesses and victims of the October 7 Hamas attack, former UN rights chief Navi Pillay, who is chairing a three-person probe, said Tuesday.

The unprecedented Commission of Inquiry was established by the UN Human Rights Council in May 2021 to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

‘I deplore the fact that people inside Israel who wish to speak to us are being denied that opportunity, because we cannot get access into Israel,’ Pillay said.

The investigation briefed diplomats at the UN in Geneva on its work and said that since October 7, it had focused on the Gaza war between Israel and Hamas.

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‘So far as the government of Israel is concerned, we have faced not merely a lack of cooperation but active obstruction of our efforts to receive evidence from Israeli witnesses and victims to the events that occurred in southern Israel,’ said Chris Sidoti, one of the three members of the inquiry.

She said that she took part in a study to monitor her health but now sleeps just two hours a night.

‘Each morning at seven o’clock, I relive the moments when I was hidden in the bushes with the terrorists passing by me.

‘I can no longer move on my own. I need to be constantly accompanied.’

Eitan described how she had spent seven hours under a tree, ‘while terrorists passed beside me and I called the police and asked “Where are you? Why is no one coming?”

‘If there is quiet around me, my head is noisy and I go back there,’ she said.

‘If it weren’t for my psychologist, I would not be here.’

Or Nasa, a third survivor, shared how a friend stopped working because of a mental breakdown suffered in light of the attack.

‘The National Insurance Institute doctors did not recognise her as suffering a work injury.

‘I need to go to a psychologist but there is an appointment only five months from now.’

As many as 600,000 Israelis – of a population of around 9.3million – were awaiting psychological support since October 7, according to recent studies cited by i24.

Last month, freed hostage Moran Stella Yanai echoed the concerns, telling Channel 12 she was surprised nobody had ‘picked up the phone’ to contact her or check on her wellbeing since her release in November.

‘No minister in the government picked up the phone and said: “Are you okay?” 

‘If they want to know what is really going on, they should close the room, close the windows, stop eating, stop drinking, ask permission to breathe, and then maybe they will understand – and do it for five months, in terror,’ she said.

‘Maybe then they will show some empathy.’

On October 7, attackers from Hamas and five other armed groups stormed into southern Israel, raiding compounds, gunning down civilians at the Nova festival and in kibbutzim near the border, and taking some 240 hostages back into Gaza.

Of the hostages, more than 40 had been at the festival, according to the Times of Israel

Thousands of young people had gathered at the ‘peace festival’ in Re’im to dance to electronic music overnight near the Gaza border. 

Survivors of the Nova massacre have shared how they fled on foot after hearing the first salvoes of rockets flying overhead just after dawn.

Security guards aimed to escort the 3,500 attendees safely out of the site, but were intercepted by gunmen arriving in vehicles.

Footage shared in the aftermath was presented as Hamas bodycam footage of a soldier wielding an AK-47 style assault rifle shooting into portaloos.

Of the 30 people who tried to hide inside the festival toilets, only three survived, according to the BBC

One survivor told MailOnline those who made it out of the campsite were told to abandon their cars and run as gunfire erupted behind them.

Many who stopped to hide in a ditch were later found and shot, Natalie Sanandaji recounted.

‘You’re in an open field and there’s almost nowhere to hide. It felt hopeless. It really felt hopeless. There’s just simply nowhere to hide, there was nowhere to go. There’s stories of some people that hid in drains, in trees and fields. A lot of those people… they ended up finding them and killing most of them.

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‘The ones that survived were the ones that hid under the dead bodies and pretended to be dead.’

A report compiled by rape centres in Israel concluded that a number of ‘sadistic’ crimes were carried out at the festival, in surrounding villages and on IDF bases during the October 7 attacks.

The chilling report from the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel was presented to the UN Special Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict Areas, who visited Israel in February to hear testimonies of sexual abuse. 

An overview of the findings states: ‘Hamas terrorists employed sadistic practices aimed at intensifying the degree of humiliation and terror inherent in sexual violence. ‘Many of the bodies of sexual crime victims were found bound and shackled. 

‘The genitals of both women and men were brutally mutilated, and sometimes weapons were inserted into them. 

‘The terrorists did not stop at shooting, they also cut and mutilated sexual organs and other body parts with knives.’

The testimonies included claims Hamas gunmen repeatedly stabbed an injured woman while they raped her; that victims had nails, grenades and knives inserted into their sexual organs; and how survivors fleeing the festival witnessed ‘girls whose pelvises were simply broken from being raped so much’.

The family of Liraz Assulin, 38, who fled from the Nova festival, creates a memorial for her, near Kibbutz Kfar Aza in southern Israel, January 21, 2024

The family of Liraz Assulin, 38, who fled from the Nova festival, creates a memorial for her, near Kibbutz Kfar Aza in southern Israel, January 21, 2024

Israelis attend a memorial for the victims of the Nova festival attack, on April 7, 2024

Israelis attend a memorial for the victims of the Nova festival attack, on April 7, 2024 

Destroyed cars and belongings left at the Supernova Music Festival site where hundreds were killed and dozens taken by Hamas militants near the border with Gaza, on October 12, 2023

Destroyed cars and belongings left at the Supernova Music Festival site where hundreds were killed and dozens taken by Hamas militants near the border with Gaza, on October 12, 2023 

Destroyed cars and personal items are still left scattered around the festival site, on October 13

Destroyed cars and personal items are still left scattered around the festival site, on October 13

One survivor of the Nova festival said the aftermath was an ‘apocalypse of bodies, girls without clothes, some missing their upper, some their lower parts’. 

Yoni Saadon, a survivor who witnessed the rape of a young woman enduring severe violence, recounted a victim crying out: ‘Stop it – already I’m going to die anyway from what you are doing, just kill me!’

The witness said ‘when they finished they were laughing and the last one shot her in the head’.

One witness said she saw a young woman with a back injury, her trousers pulled down below her knees, being raped by one terrorist as another ‘pulled from her hair’.

‘Each time the woman resisted, the terrorist stabbed her in the back.’

As many as 1,170 people, mostly civilians, were killed during Hamas’ surprise assault into southern Israel on October 7. 

Israel has responded with a devastating bombardment of the Gaza Strip, killing more than 33,800 people, according to local health officials.

For confidential support, call Samaritans on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org 



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