Death toll from Nova music festival massacre on Oct. 7 raised by 100 to over 360

Toll makes up nearly one-third of all approximately 1,200 people killed during Hamas-led terrorist massacres in southern Israel last month

File: An armed Hamas terrorist walking around the Supernova music festival, near Kibbutz Re'im in the Negev desert in southern Israel on October 7, where terrorists from Gaza massacred hundreds of people. (South First Responders/AFP)
File: An armed Hamas terrorist walking around the Supernova music festival, near Kibbutz Re'im in the Negev desert in southern Israel on October 7, where terrorists from Gaza massacred hundreds of people. (South First Responders/AFP)

An ongoing police investigation into the Hamas massacre at the Supernova music festival in Kibbutz Re’im on October 7 has updated the death count to over 360, from about 260, according to a new report.

The toll would make up nearly one-third of all approximately 1,200 people killed during the onslaught in Israel last month.

The toll includes some 17 police officers and also makes up half of all civilians killed during the invasion, Channel 12 reported Friday. Nearly 400 military and police members were killed in southern Israel that day,

Some 4,000 people were reportedly at the Supernova event.

According to the report, terrorists who overran the festival also took at least 40 hostages.

The hostages were taken when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists launched a devastating assault on October 7, in which they rampaged through southern communities, killing over 1,200 people, mostly civilians butchered in their homes and at the music festival, and abducting some 240 people of all ages in total.

Israeli troops inspect the ravaged site of the weekend attack on the Supernova desert music Festival by Palestinian gunmen near Kibbutz Re’im in the Negev desert in southern Israel on October 10, 2023. (JACK GUEZ / AFP)

The Channel 12 report Friday said that the security establishment’s current assessment was that Hamas was unaware of the music festival in the lead-up to the massacre.

Separate video released Friday showed piles of shoes that were gathered from where Supernova was held, which were apparently left behind as festival-goers fled from the terrorists.

The network published what it said were fuller details of the initial investigation by the Police Southern District into the Hamas killings on the morning of October 7.

Hundreds flee gunmen at a music festival near Kibbutz Re’im, October 7, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The investigation concluded that the terrorists did not know in advance about the party, contrary to previous reports and widespread belief, Channel 12 said. The police reached this conclusion partly on the basis of questioning of captured terrorists, and also because they did not find maps on the bodies of dead terrorists directing them to the outdoor event; in the cases of other massacres that day, the terrorists carried maps specifying their targets.

The TV report said the terrorists only realized a major event was happening in the Re’im area after the police began dispersing partygoers because of the wider Hamas invasion, and only then did they head toward it.

Channel 12 showed what it said was a timeline of the unfolding catastrophe, according to the police probe, and broadcast a recording of a woman at the party desperately phoning the police to come at once, screaming, “They’re shooting at us.”

The report concluded that, as far as the investigation can establish, including on the basis of the questioning of captured terrorists, “had there not been a [substantial] police deployment at Yad Mordechai,” some 30 kilometers further north, “the terrorists would have been on their way to Rishon Lezion in 30 minutes, and in Tel Aviv in 40 minutes. And we would have been in a completely different story.”

It did not give further details to explain this assessment.

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