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Survivors of the Nova festival massacre speak at a debate at the Knesset. April 16, 2024. (credit: NOAM MOSHKOWITZ/KNESSET SPOKESPERSON)

50 survivors of Hamas massacre at music festival have taken own lives

Nearly 50 survivors of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on a music festival have committed suicide.

The shocking number comes as survivors gave testimony before Israeli lawmakers and the country struggles to handle a mental health crisis in the midst of a major war.

Speaking at a State Audit Commission hearing on the care of survivors, Guy Ben Shimon concentrated on the purported shortcomings of Israeli government agencies in providing mental support for the attack victims. ‘Few people know, but there have been almost 50 suicides among the Nova survivors,’ he claimed. ‘This number, which was true two months ago, may have increased since.’

In the midst of recurrent complaints from victims and former captives about poor care received following the assault, Ben Shimon spoke with a number of survivors.

‘There are many survivors who had to be forcibly hospitalized due to their psychological state,’ he asserted.

‘I am practically unable to do anything. I had to get a dog to help me survive in my daily life. The goal for all of us is to return to work and function normally, but we cannot do it without adequate help.’

Hamas terrorists and Gaza citizens killed more than 360 young concert-goers on Oct. 7, and about 1,000 other Israelis in communities dotting the countryside. Bodycam footage of Hamas terrorists as well as cell phone videos  of Israeli victims, show young people being shot at point-blank range and grenades being tossed into bomb shelters where dozens of other Israeli young people had taken shelter.

Several survivors spoke up at the hearing on Tuesday, voicing worries about the care they had received since the trauma occurred a little more than six months ago.

Israeli social services and government agencies are overwhelmed with individuals needing psychological treatment. They include not only the victims of the Hamas invasion but also first-responders, hospital workers, representatives of the media and IDF soldiers who responded to the festival and the communities involved in the attack.

The number of people waiting for mental health treatment has reached 600,000 Israelis, according to i24 News. An alarming number in a country of just over 9 million citizens. Some are related to victims and those who saw Hamas live-streamed the slaughter using the victims’ Facebook mobile apps and other social media accounts.

Concerns were expressed by recently released hostage Moran Stella Yanai, who told Channel 12 last month that she was shocked that no one has “picked up the phone” to get in touch with her or inquire about her well-being since her release in November.

“Are you okay?” was not said by any government minister when they answered the phone.

The UN Special Envoy on Sexual Violence in Conflict Areas, who visited Israel in February to hear tales of sexual abuse, was shown the disturbing report from the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel.

A summary of the results reads as follows: “Sadistic tactics were used by Hamas terrorists to increase the level of terror and humiliation associated with sexual violence.”Numerous victims of sexual crimes had their bodies discovered chained and bound. The UN report also detailed how Hamas severed the sexual organs of both men and women and raped them bodily and with their weapons.

–Dwight Widaman and wire services

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