published : 2023-10-19

Surviving a Massacre: IDF Platoon Staff Sergeant Recounts Terror at Music Festival in Israel

Aviv Mor, 26, recalls the horrifying moments of the Hamas attack that claimed hundreds of innocent lives

An IDF platoon staff sergeant, Aviv Mor, standing tall with determination, ready to defend Israel. (Taken with a Nikon D850)

Aviv Mor, a platoon staff sergeant in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), shares the harrowing story of his survival at the Tribe of Nova festival.

On the fateful morning of October 7, Hamas terrorists infiltrated the festival grounds just miles away from the Gaza Strip, with a sinister agenda to slaughter Jewish concert-goers.

As gunshots and missiles shattered the joyful atmosphere, Mor and his group realized they were under attack. What was meant to be a celebration of life swiftly turned into a living nightmare.

Mor, who had served in the IDF in Gaza years ago, was no stranger to conflict. But the scale of the rockets and artillery unleashed by the terrorists was unlike anything he had previously encountered.

Desperate to escape the bloodshed, Mor and his companions jumped into a car and attempted to flee. But at every turn, they were met with ambushes and relentless gunfire.

Amidst the chaos, Mor witnessed innocent civilians running for their lives, hoping to find refuge in any hiding place they could.

A serene view of the Tribe of Nova festival grounds, where life was abruptly shattered by the terrorist attack. (Taken with a Canon EOS R5)

With each passing moment, hope seemed to fade. Even the presence of an IDF helicopter overhead, uncertain of how to act without harming the fleeing civilians, couldn't bring solace to Mor and his fellow survivors.

The echoing battle cries of the Hamas terrorists rang in Mor's ears, chilling him to the core. Their murderous intent was evident as they hunted down anyone in their path, displaying a heart-wrenching brutality.

Separated from his group, Mor fought against all odds to stay alive. He managed to make a desperate phone call to his uncle, sharing his ordeal and his fear of the unknown.

Refusing to succumb to fear, Mor mustered the strength to help others around him, even amidst the relentless gunfire. Yet, the sight of innocent lives being cut short with precision attacks left him shattered.

After an arduous journey, Mor finally found temporary refuge in a car filled with strangers. Witnessing the swift action of the police officers against a terrorist disguised in an IDF uniform only added to the surreal nature of the day.

Arriving at a police station, Mor sought safety within its walls, uncertain of the fate of those who had offered him a lifeline in the car.

Survivors fleeing in desperation, seeking safety amidst the chaos and violence. (Taken with a Sony A7III)

Word of the horrors unfolding in the kibbutzim reached Mor's ears. Reports of beheaded babies and unspeakable acts of violence left him in disbelief and disgust.

Through trembling hands, Mor expressed his anguish at the merciless slaughter orchestrated by Hamas. He questioned the motives behind such senseless acts, vowing that neither he nor Israel would forget or forgive what had transpired.

To those who remain unaware or indifferent to the atrocities, Mor extended an open invitation to visit Be'eri and the kibbutzim, to witness firsthand the massacring of innocent Israeli people.

With his heart heavy but determined, Mor shares his story, hoping to shed light on the reality of the ongoing conflict between Hamas and Israel.

As the world grapples with the aftermath of these horrific events, one thing remains clear: the survivors will carry the weight of that tragic night forever, etching their stories in our collective memory.