Shani Louk, the young German-Israeli woman who appeared in graphic footage of Hamas’ attack on a southern Israeli music festival on Saturday, honored Israelis killed by militants in an Instagram post years before the assault.
Hamas fired thousands of rockets at Israel, while dozens of fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border by air, land and sea in areas near the Gaza Strip on Saturday morning, marking the latest escalation in the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during a televised address on Saturday that his country was now at war. Israel has since launched its own attacks against Hamas.
The Tribe of Nova music festival in southern Israel was one of the first places targeted by Hamas, with graphic videos spreading online showing militants attack festivalgoers, including Louk. Authorities removed roughly 260 bodies from the site following the attack.
Graphic footage circulating on social media showed a nearly naked woman lying face-down in the bed of a pickup truck with four militants, apparently being paraded through the streets. Family members have since identified that woman as Louk.
It remains unknown whether she was killed in the attack, and her family has said they hope she is alive. Newsweek did not link to the footage due to its extremely graphic nature.
An Instagram post made by Louk honoring Israelis who were killed in conflict made its rounds on social media Monday afternoon. The post, dated May 10, 2016, shows Israeli soldiers along with the country’s flag.
“We shall remember our children, the brave and loyal soldiers, the state security employees who fought for our country, we shall remember the [ones] who got murdered by terror organizations … We will remember and not forget,” she wrote in the caption of the post.
Newsweek reached out to the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry for comment via email on Monday.
Louk’s family has held out hope that she is still alive. Her mother, Ricarda Louk, told CNN late Saturday, “I hope that she is still alive somewhere.”
Louk’s aunt, Orly Louk, told German newspaper Der Spiegel that her niece had grown up in Israel, but was a globetrotter who never stayed in one place for too long. She added that her niece was a pacifist who refused to take up mandatory Israeli military service.
According to the Associated Press (AP), about 900 people have been killed in Israel and around 680 were killed in Gaza as of Monday afternoon, while thousands of others suffered injuries.
Hamas has said they are holding captive more than 130 soldiers and civilians taken from Israel, and on Monday afternoon warned that it would kill an Israeli hostage every time Israel bombed civilian targets in the Gaza Strip without warning, AP reported.
Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen cautioned Hamas against harming hostages, reiterating Israel’s commitment to rescuing them, according to AP.
“We demand Hamas not to harm any of the hostages, Cohen said. “This war crime will not be forgiven.”