'Whoever can fight, must fight. Everyone else must pray'

Brothers saved dozens at Nova, fighting terrorists with commander’s phoned-in advice

Daniel and Neria Sharabi defended some 30 rave attendees sheltering behind a tank, using unfamiliar weapons as reserve commander gave instructions over the phone

Partygoers shelter behind a tank with a Sharabi brother standing and wearing a helmet on the right, as they fend off terrorists, October 7, 2023 (Screen grab via Channel 12 used used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Partygoers shelter behind a tank with a Sharabi brother standing and wearing a helmet on the right, as they fend off terrorists, October 7, 2023 (Screen grab via Channel 12 used used in accordance with clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Two brothers saved dozens of lives during the massacre by Hamas terrorists at the Supernova music festival on October 7 by providing fire cover for escapees with weapons they found in a tank, while receiving instructions over the phone from an IDF officer. Some 360 of the 1,200 people killed in southern Israel that day were slaughtered at the outdoor festival.

According to a Channel 12 news report, rave attendees Daniel and Neria Sharabi fended off terrorists with firearms from the tank near the site of the massacre, also treating the wounded who were hiding with them.

With Daniel’s former IDF commander, Yoni Skariszewski, advising them by telephone, the brothers saved some 30 partygoers sheltering behind the tank amid the Hamas onslaught, the report said.

The Sharabi brothers were partying at Supernova when rocket sirens started blaring at 6:30 a.m. In a video captured by Neria, he and his friends Karin Journo and Yosef-Haim Ohana can be seen seeking shelter behind some parked cars, jokingly wondering why the terrorists in Gaza couldn’t wait until later to begin launching their missiles.

Neria told Channel 12 (Hebrew link) that they were ordered to disperse, and he left Karin — who had a broken leg prior to the event — and together with his cousin Shalev Yehoshua, went to retrieve his car. Minutes later, Karin was murdered.

The brothers said they began to hear gunfire and immediately realized from their army service that it was the sound of Kalashnikovs, rather than fire coming from Israeli military weapons.

Brothers Daniel (R) and Neria (L) Sharabi, who saved dozens at the October 7 Nova massacre, in a Channel 13 TV interview, December 28, 2023. (Screen capture: Channel 13. Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law.)

Daniel was a combat medic during his service, and Neria served in the infantry.

Realizing this was no regular bout of rockets from Gaza, they fled toward the highway.

Daniel administered first aid to an injured woman, when he, Neria, Yosef, and Shalev were called upon by two young men who were attending Nova as civilians, Sgt. First Class Itai Bausi, who was nearing the end of his IDF service, and Vancouver-born former IDF medic Ben Mizrachi, to help them evacuate the wounded on a stretcher.

Soon, terrorists armed with automatic weapons stormed the scene in pickup trucks, firing incessantly.

Itai and Ben were killed, as Daniel, Neria, Shalev and Yosef managed to take cover behind some parked cars. The car near Yosef was hit by an RPG missile. This was the last time the Sharabi brothers saw him before he was snatched by terrorists who took him to Gaza, where he is still being held hostage.

Karine Journo, back right, and Yosef-Haim Ohana, center, with friends at the Supernova desert rave, October 7, 2023 moments before Hamas terrorists attacked (Courtesy Neta Abir Lev)

The brothers recounted that shortly after 9 a.m., under heavy shelling, a damaged tank veered off the highway toward the parking lot, running over some of the vehicles. A member of the tank’s crew died, as the other three escaped; two of them were killed.

The survivor, tank driver Ido Somekh, valiantly fought off scores of terrorists before he was overpowered, the brothers said. About a dozen terrorists attempted to kill Somekh with his own gun, which fortunately malfunctioned.

Realizing they would need to fend off the approaching terrorists, Daniel and Neria entered the tank, rummaging for firearms. The tank’s fallen crew member was splayed on the floor. Neria furiously searched the body for a weapon, as he apologized profusely to the dead soldier.

Finally, Neria found the soldier’s gun, which was full of sand and therefore likely to malfunction. With a tiny tub of Vaseline from a woman hiding behind the tank, Neria lubricated the weapon so that it could be used.

FILE – An aerial picture shows the abandoned site of the weekend assault by Hamas terrorists on the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im in the Negev desert, southern Israel, October 10, 2023. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Daniel took the tank’s machine gun. Both brothers, who had served as infantry soldiers, did not know their way around a tank and were initially unable to find ammunition for the machine gun.

Daniel scoured his phone contacts for anyone who might know where to find the ammunition.

“I just wrote ‘army’ in my contacts, and searched, and called everyone,” he said.

Ultimately, he spoke with Yoni Skrisewsky, a commander of his reserve company, who told him where to look in the tank.

“Where is the army, where is the air force?” Daniel begged Skrisewsky, who reassured him that help was on the way.

Yoni, whose own father Rody was murdered in the Hamas onslaught, left Tel Aviv for Re’im with three other members of his reserve company to help fight off the terrorists.

For five hours, until he arrived at Re’im, Skrisewsky gave tactical advice to the Sharabi brothers over the phone, as they fended off their assailants, giving cover for injured Nova attendees and applying improvised tourniquets to their wounds.

Their heroic actions saved dozens from murder or abduction.

“We told them that whoever could fight, must fight. Whoever can treat [the wounded], must treat. And everyone else must pray,” the brothers said of their instructions to those sheltering behind the tent.

The Nova party where hundreds of Israelis were murdered and kidnapped by Hamas terrorists who infiltrated to Israel on October 7, 2023, November 2, 2023 (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

Hours later, in the afternoon, the group was finally rescued by security forces.

They recalled finally sitting down having saved so many lives, and rolling a joint, at which point a police officer shouted at them “what do you think you are doing?”

When told that they were heroes, the brothers demurred: “The heroes are the ones who died that day.”

“The medics who were killed, those who heroically fought and died, those who were kidnapped [are the heroes],” Daniel said.

On October 7, some 3,000 Hamas terrorists crossed the border from Gaza into Israel, brutally murdering about 1,200 people, mainly civilians, and engaging in widespread violence, including sexual assault, as they took some 240 hostages. Over 360 of those massacred were at the Nova music festival.

Most Popular
read more: