Home News Israelis visit Nova site for national day of mourning

Israelis visit Nova site for national day of mourning

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On a stretch of sand near Israel’s border with Gaza, soldiers, civilians and tourists walked quietly through a dense thicket of telephone poles. Taped to the pillars are the portraits of hundreds of people who came here to dance late one night last October but never returned home.

Israelis celebrate Memorial Day, the country’s annual event to commemorate fallen soldiers and victims of terror attacks, and many are drawn to Nova Tribe Music Festival sceneAt sunrise on October 7, a carnival devoted to peace and love was interrupted by a barrage of rockets from Gaza, marking the beginning of a cross-border attack led by Hamas.

According to Israeli authorities, at least 360 festival-goers were killed in the horror that followed, accounting for nearly a third of the approximately 1,200 people killed that day in southern Israel.Militants cross border Surrounded Nova baseambushing people trying to escape in their cars and chasing them in the air raid shelter along roads or as they escape across furrowed fields.

As Israel marked its first national day of mourning after one of the deadliest days in the country’s 76-year history, and with the country still at war in Gaza, many people began visiting the Nova Memorial on Sunday to pay their respects. The dead and festival-goers. He was taken hostage in Gaza and is still being held there.

Israeli flags flapped in the wind on Sunday, and sharp artillery fire from nearby Israeli troop positions sometimes broke the solemn silence.

“The earth is crying,” said Eliran Shuraki, 39, a resident of central Israel who visited the Nova site for the first time on Sunday with a friend. “Our hearts are broken,” he added.

their first visit BeeriHe said it was one of the border communities worst affected on October 7, and one of Mr. Shulaki’s colleagues lost three generations of relatives there. Mr. Shulaki’s brother lost a police officer brother-in-law at the Nova Music Festival, he said.

Nicole and Guy Peretz are a couple in their early 30s from coastal Ashkelon. They said both men were former police officers and that several of their former colleagues were killed at the scene.

“You can’t absorb it unless you’re here in person and see the incomprehensible numbers of people,” Ms. Peretz said.

More makeshift memorials dotted miles of roadsides, orchards and meadows, composed of portraits, piles of stones, handwritten notes and candles, and wreaths wilting in the hot sun.

In a nearby field, hundreds of burned cars gathered from the roadside after the Oct. 7 attack were piled in a metal graveyard.

Even the bomb shelters where many people sought shelter that day and were killed while crammed inside were turned into shrines. Their charred, bloodied interiors had been painted over. The stench is gone. Their walls are now covered with graffiti: searing messages, photos and prayers commemorating those who were once there but are no longer.

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