The death of Shani Gabay, 25, was confirmed on November 22, 2023. She was murdered by Hamas terrorists on October 7 at the Supernova music festival. This is the story of her family’s uncertainty:
Shani Gabay, 25, is presumed taken captive on October 7, as she was taking shelter in a police command post at the Supernova desert rave.
Gabay was shot in the leg by Hamas terrorists who raided the outdoor party, killing more than 360 people and taking at least 40 hostages.
Gabay, a recent law school graduate, was working at the party. She called her mother at 6:40 a.m., telling her about the stream of rockets and asking what she should do, according to her older brother, Aviel Gabay, in a lengthy video posted on social media.
She was in her car at the time, and her mother told her to pull over and find a secure place. She found a field shelter near Kibbutz Alumim and went there, not yet knowing at the time there were terrorists gunning down partygoers, in addition to the rockets.
Terrorists threw grenades into the shelter, according to Gabay’s two friends who stayed in the shelter and survived, each one losing a leg. Gabay was pulled out of the shelter and appeared to have returned to her car, where she was shot. She made her way to a paramedic who took her to the police command post.
From video footage that her family pieced together, Gabay was last seen at the police post, where there were police offers as well. The terrorists reached that location.
“She was told to run,” said her brother Aviel, “but we don’t know how well she could have run by that point.”
Gabay’s family had jumped into action that morning, her brother driving to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba to see if she was there while her father headed to the party site. He spent that day and the next five days turning over bodies in ditches and on the side of the road, hoping to find a trace of his daughter.
The uncertainty continues for this family, who don’t want a hostage deal until there is more certainty about what is happening with those who are considered missing.
“We don’t know anything,” said Aviel. “I don’t know what my sister went through and that bothers me the most.”
Gabay turns 26 on November 29. She recently earned her law degree and is known as a lover of life who is devoted to her dog, to parties like Supernova and to travel.
“She knows everyone,” said Aviel. “We keep meeting people at the rallies who see her photo and know her from Costa Rica, or the army or their studies. She cleans beaches and saves cats and dogs. I want to believe she’ll continue doing all of that.”