A survivor of the attack on Israel’s Supernova music festival recounted a terrifying message she got from police when she called to alert them about the surprise attack by Hamas on Saturday.
“We tried to reach the police,” Millet Ben Haim told MSNBC’s Alex Wagner in an interview on Wednesday. “They did want to help us, but they just told us that we’re gonna level with you, you don’t understand what’s going on in Israel right now. So many people are being kidnapped and so many villages are being taken over by terrorists. So you’re on your own.”
She was among thousands of festivalgoers partying several miles from the Gaza border early on Saturday morning when Hamas militants stormed the event, massacring more than 260 people. At the same time, Hamas fighters were laying siege to other Israeli communities, killing hundreds more and taking soldiers and civilians hostage.
Haim said she and her friends dialed authorities while hiding in the bushes, after “something like two hours of running” for their lives through the desert.
“Everybody was really wasted, helpless and confused,” Haim said of the chaos when gunmen arrived. “It’s a music festival … you never expect this nightmare to happen.”
Haim said she understood the police’s situation but felt “helpless.”
“The shooting was from everywhere. No matter where we ran to, we saw other people screaming,” she said.
The woman and her friends escaped in a car initially but had to abandon it and continue on foot, she said. For six hours, she and her friends hid and waited.
“We stayed silent. We held hands. We prayed,” she recalled to MSNBC. “Every now and then we started crying, but we realized, we have to stop because we don’t want them to hear us.”
Haim said she wanted to share her story because “it’s really important for us to let the world know what is going on here right now.”
Israel declared war on Sunday and has retaliated with relentless airstrikes on Gaza, a territory Hamas rules by force. The war has already claimed 2,600 lives on both sides.
Watch the interview below.