A video showing a woman dancing at a music festival near the Gaza-Israel border before she was taken by Hamas militants has gone viral on social media.
The outdoor Tribe of Nova festival was among the first targets of Hamas fighters as they launched an unprecedented attack in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Graphic footage circulated on social media showed a nearly naked woman lying face-down in the bed of a pick-up truck with four militants, apparently being paraded through the streets.
Family members identified her as Shani Louk, a 22-year-old German-Israeli. She appeared to be dead in the video, but her family are holding out hope that she is alive.
Louk’s mother, Ricarda Louk, has pleaded for information about her daughter in a video shared on social media.
“We were sent a video in which I could clearly see our daughter unconscious in the car with the Palestinians and them driving around the Gaza Strip,” she said, according to a translation of her remarks.
“I ask you to send us any help or any news. Thank you very much.”
Louk’s cousin, Tomasina Weintraub Louk, told The Washington Post that family members had desperately tried to contact Louk, as well as her Mexican boyfriend, but couldn’t get through.
“We knew she was in the party; she didn’t answer,” she told the newspaper.
Although the woman in the video is lying face-down, she said they recognized her by her tattoos and dreadlocks.
She added that the family have “some kind of hope” that she is alive.
Louk’s aunt, Orly Louk, told the 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 was a pacifist, her aunt said, and refused to take up the military service that is mandatory for Israelis. Her German passport had helped her, she added.
She said the last photo her niece posted on social media was a mirror selfie before heading to the festival. The image shows her looking to the side, wearing dark eye makeup and a scarf covering her long dreadlocks. “She often posted selfies on Instagram,” her aunt said.
Other video footage from the attack on the music festival showed a young woman being abducted by men on a motorbike as she cried for help, while another man was led away with his hands behind his back.
Paramedics removed about 260 bodies from the festival site, according to the Israeli rescue service Zaka.
Hamas is holding more than 100 people captive, Hamas official Mousa Abu Marzouk told Arabic language news outlet al-Ghad on Sunday. That is in addition to more than 30 people said to be held by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group.
Festival organizers said in a statement on Facebook that they were assisting security forces to help locate missing people who attended the event.
“We strengthen and share the grief of the missing and murdered families,” the statement said.
“We are doing everything we can to assist the security forces, stand with them in constant contact and are located in the area in scans and searches in order to locate the missing.”
The statement said they “pass on to relevant parties every piece of information that comes to us about additional missing persons.”