Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (2024)

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The Israel Defence Forces took CBC News to the site of the music festival where 260 people were massacred and others kidnapped in a surprise attack by Hamas militants.

Journalists allowed inside grounds for first time since 260 Israelis killed

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (1)

Paul Hunter · CBC News

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Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (2)

Spread about in the mix of rolling hills, grassy fieldsand the evergreen trees of southern Israel arethe remnants of everything those who would be killed when Hamas militants stormed a music festival in southern Israel last weekendhad brought with them.

Scattered shoes and clothing lay by unfinished meals on picnic tables. Lawn chairs, camping supplies, parking passes and knapsacks are strewn everywhere. And the cars and vans driven to get to the music festival — held just outside Israel's border with the Gaza Strip— still stand where they were abandoned.

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Some of the cars are wildly askew in farmers' fields with their doors left swung open. Others are in roadside ditches. But most are still in the campground parking area, many of them burnedto the point of meltdown.

Completing the picture: Countless bullet holes, torn metal, shards of windshield glass — and dried pools of blood where the dead and dying fell.

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (3)

The IsraelDefence Forces this week took a handful of journalists, including CBC News, to the site of the Supernova music festival where 260 young people were massacred and others kidnapped in a surprise attack by Hamas.

Hamas's assault, and days of heavy rocket fire since, have killed more than 1,300 people in Israel, including 247 soldiers. Citizens of several countries, including Canada,have been killed.

WATCH | Scenes of devastation:

Warning: Video contains graphic details | Aid groups warn of disaster in Gaza as relentless and ferocious airstrikes continue. In Israel, more scenes of devastation emerge, and journalists are brought to the site of the Supernova music festival, where at least 260 people were killed.

More than 1,500 people have been killed in Israel's retaliatory attacks on Gaza and on Thursday, Israel said its siege of Gaza would remain in place until Hamas militants free the roughly 150 people takenhostage.

At the music festival grounds,the bodies had long since been taken away by Israeli authorities, but everything else was left in place. CBC News had about an hour to document it.

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (5)

Signs that people weren't aware of threat

There are signs that those in thecrowd musthave doubted there was any threat until it wastoo late.

All the bits and pieces leftscattered in any other circ*mstance would point simply to a good time having been had by all.

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (6)

Widely seen social media video shows some of the militants comingin by air, others on motorcycleswhile some on foot waited in the nearby trees to shoot people as they unknowingly raced away from the first threat but toward those who'd now kill them.

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The fields were mostly silent as CBC News was at the site, except for the artillery fire not far off and the Israeli fighter jets passing overhead targeting Hamas strongholds in nearby Gaza.

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (7)

The sound of gunshots

Occasionally, there wasthe sound of the country's Iron Dome defence system intercepting Hamas rockets stilltargeting Israel.

Meanwhile, as the journalists wanderedthe festival grounds, IDFsoldiers patrolled the fields with weapons drawn.

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (8)

Then there wasa gunshot, and then another.

IDF soldiers confronted a man who had been brandishing a knife, CBC News is told.On his knees, surrounded by soldiers, he peeledoff his T-shirt in an apparent attempt to show he's otherwise unarmed. Tensions eased. Journalists werelater told he was a Bedouin.

Earlier in the day, the media'saccess to the site was delayed because Israeli forces said they believed there might have been a Hamas militant in the area.

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (9)

The country has declared the border in this part of Israel secured,but it's still an active war zone.

It is believed there remain an unknown number of tunnels underneath the Gaza border through which further militants can travel.

The music festival site is just a few kilometres from the communities of Be'eri, Kfar Azaand Sderot, each of which suffered their own massacres last Saturday.

As night fellat the festival grounds, CBC News wastold to leave quickly.

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (10)

There are more vehicles on the way backthat had been targeted and stopped, mid-escape.Lying next to a looted and bullet-ridden car was an abandoned motorcycle.

It bore no licence plate, just a sticker on its rear wheel bumper with a red inscription in Arabic.

WATCH | Survivors recount music festival attack:

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (11)

'Everybody was happy,’ survivor says of festival before deadly Hamas attack

8 months ago

Duration 0:58

Canadian Shye Klein Weinstein was among thousands of people attending a music festival in the Israeli desert Saturday who wound up fleeing for their lives during a deadly attack by Hamas militants. Weinstein said the sound of rockets didn't initially immediately cause panic among festivalgoers, but then they started hearing gunfire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (12)

Paul Hunter

Foreign correspondent

Paul Hunter is a correspondent for CBC News in Washington, D.C. Prior to that, he was a political correspondent for The National in Ottawa. In his more than two decades with the CBC, he has reported from across Canada and more than a dozen countries, including Haiti, Japan and Afghanistan.

  • Video by Paul Hunter

With files from The Associated Press

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  • Analysis Grief and rage are consuming Israel — was that what Hamas intended?
Bullet holes, burnt cars and bloodstains point to panicked attempt to flee musical festival massacre | CBC News (2024)

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