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HomeworldGerman-Israeli woman snatched by Hamas at music festival is dead, Israel says

German-Israeli woman snatched by Hamas at music festival is dead, Israel says

JERUSALEM: Shani Louk, a 23-year-old German-Israeli woman captured by Hamas fighters when they stormed a music festival in the Israeli desert, is dead, Israel’s foreign ministry said Monday.

“Our hearts are broken,” the ministry wrote in a message on X, formerly Twitter, as it confirmed Louk’s death.

“Shani, who was kidnapped from a music festival and tortured and paraded around Gaza by Hamas terrorists, experienced unfathomable horrors,” it said.

“May her memory be a blessing.”

Speaking to Germany’s Bild newspaper, Israeli President Isaac Herzog said: “I am really sorry to report that we have now received news that Shani Nicole Louk has been confirmed murdered and dead.

“What we saw on the Gaza-Israel border goes far beyond a pogrom. We saw a slaughterhouse.” 

Louk had been missing since Hamas fighters stormed the Supernova rave near the Gaza border as they carried out the worst attack in Israel’s history.

Around 270 festivalgoers were killed.

Shortly after the attack, images began circulating online of a young woman lying face down and nearly naked in the back of a pickup truck in Gaza filled with armed men.

Louk’s family said that they recognised her in the footage because of her dreadlocks and distinctive tattoos.

The family initially held out hope she had been badly injured and was receiving hospital treatment in Gaza.

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Louk’s sister Adi spoke of her “great sorrow” as she shared the news of Shani’s death on Instagram.

Their mother, Ricarda Louk, told German media that they had been informed of Shani’s death by the Israeli military.

German-born Ricarda Louk, who moved to Israel three decades ago, told the RTL/NTV broadcasters that her daughter had been identified through DNA analysis of a skull bone.

She said she now believed that her daughter was killed on the day of the attack.

“At least she didn’t suffer,” she told RTL/NTV.

No official information was given about the circumstances of Louk’s death, but Herzog told Bild that Louk’s “skull has been found”.

Hamas has not commented on her fate.

In the Oct 7 attacks, Hamas militants killed more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities. Another 239 people were taken hostage.

In retaliation, Israel began a relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

Since then, the health ministry in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip says more than 8,300 Palestinians have been killed, mostly civilians and among them almost 3,500 children.

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