On October 7, the Nova Festival in Kibbutz Re’im was a scene of celebration at 6:29 am. Millet Ben Haim and her friends were smiling and taking photos, enjoying the festivities. But their joy was short-lived as air raid sirens went off and Hamas fighters stormed the festival site.
In less than two minutes, the atmosphere drastically changed, leaving devastation in its wake. A total of 364 festival visitors were killed, and 40 were taken hostage. Millet, who was lucky to survive, spoke about the life-changing experience in an interview with the German newspaper Bild. She recounted how the music abruptly stopped due to the sound of rockets filling the sky.
Millet and her friends tried to flee in their car but were thwarted when they saw terrorists shooting at people in cars ahead of them. They attempted to go in another direction but were met with similar violence. Eventually, they took off on foot through fields, desperate to escape and seek safety.
After hours of wandering and seeking refuge, they eventually hid in a bush with three other women, disguising themselves to avoid being found by terrorists. Their prayers were answered when Ramy Davidian, a civilian who had saved over a hundred lives that day, found and rescued them.
Now with her family, Millet is grateful to be safe but is struggling to cope with trauma and loss resulting from the attack. She feels like a different person unable to connect with friends or family members overwhelmed by the magnitude of events that took place that day.