ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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Mourning families silently march to Knesset in remembrance of rave massacre victims

Four months since October 7, family members of those murdered by Hamas at Supernova festival commemorate their loved ones, urge government to take responsibility for lives lost

Pictures of Israelis who were murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Nova festival, outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on February 7, 2024.  (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Pictures of Israelis who were murdered by Hamas terrorists at the Nova festival, outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on February 7, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Marking four months since the October 7 massacre, family members of those murdered at the Supernova music festival marched to the Knesset on Wednesday to commemorate their loved ones.

Dressed in all black, carrying photographs of the murdered partygoers and Israeli flags,  hundreds of mourners walked in silence up the hill leading to the Knesset complex. When they reached the plaza opposite the Knesset building, they filled the space with photographs and flower bouquets.

“For four months we were silent, four months nobody mentioned them, nobody knew what they looked like, nobody saw anything [about them],” said event organizer Sigal Shemer, whose 23-year-old son, Ron Shemer, was one of the 364 people murdered by Hamas at the Supernova festival.

The music festival massacre was part of the assault by some 3,000 terrorists on the morning of October 7, when they stormed across the Gaza border, killing some 1,200 people, most of them civilians, and taking 253 hostages.

A handful of Knesset members caused a stir when they came out to greet the mourners gathered in front of the government building. Organizers emphasized that the legislators came uninvited, and that the march was not intended to be political.

“This is their home here. I can’t say anything to them, but I didn’t agree for anyone to come and speak, whether right or left-wing. This is a holy day for us, I’m not prepared for anyone to use our pain for political spin,” said Shemer said about the politicians’ attendance.

Mourning families lay photos of their loved ones murdered in Supernova massacre alongside flower bouquets outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on February 7, 2024. (Charlie Summers/Times of Israel)

Holon resident Anat Ben-Ami partook in this morning’s march to commemorate her youngest daughter Shani, a 27-year-old waitress who had attended the music festival with friends.

“I cry going to work, I cry at work, every moment is just more tears,” said Ben-Ami. “My country didn’t protect her, the army wasn’t there, the state didn’t care, it left the partygoers there like sitting ducks,” she said.

Mourning families march to the Knesset in remembrance of the Supernova massacre victims on February 7, 2024. (Charlie Summers/Times of Israel)

Moran Efrat, although she didn’t lose anyone on October 7, partook in the event to commemorate her father, Haggai, who was murdered by an Egyptian policeman during a vacation to Alexandria on the day following Hamas’s attack.

Like many of the families whose loved ones were murdered on October 7, Efrat recalled finding out about the murder of her 83-year-old father from the news and social media. She received no word from Israeli authorities on October 8, the day of her father’s murder, she said.

Moran Efrat holds a picture of her father Haggai Efrat, 83, who was killed on October 8 by an Egyptian policeman, outside the Knesset on February 7, 2024. (Charlie Summers/Times of Israel)

“What happened was not normal, it’s impossible to treat [the massacre] like a normal event,” said Ariel Snir, the father of 21-year-old Eitan Snir, who was murdered at the rave while taking cover in a rocket shelter.

“There are people here who have not returned to their old selves, who haven’t worked for months. There are siblings [of those murdered] who are just hanging in the air. The government needs to take responsibility for this incident and take care of it,” Snir said.

The evening of October 7, Snir rushed to the scene to find his son, but couldn’t make it to the music festival site. He went back to Re’im the next day to continue his search and found Eitan’s body lying in the rocket shelter at the entrance to the kibbutz.

Shemer and other organizers are planning to hold similar events on the 7th of each passing month to raise awareness.

“We want their pictures in front of everyone at all times, Knesset members, the Israeli media, the foreign media,” she said. “It should give them a punch in the gut, remembering how many children were murdered that day.”

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