Israeli music festival attendee details horror of Hamas attack
Israeli music festival attendee details horror of Hamas attack that left at least 250 dead
On the morning of Saturday, Oct. 7, Iranian-backed terrorists initiated a brutal surprise ground attack and rocket barrage on Israel. Hamas terrorists have raped, tortured and murdered hundreds of civilians with repeat pounding of airstrikes and acts of terrorism from the ground.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war Saturday. Leaders from around the world, including President Biden, have condemned the atrocities and acts of terrorism taking place in Israel.
Israeli officials reported that more than 900 Israelis have been reported dead including men, women, babies and the elderly since the atrocities began Saturday. At least 11 Americans have been reported dead, and at least four Israeli-Americans are reportedly kidnapped. Some soldiers said they found babies with their heads cut off, according to i24 News.
More than 250 civilians were killed at the Tribe of Nova music festival on Saturday. Hundreds of civilians were also abducted from the concert and taken to Gaza by Hamas. The terror group is threatening to broadcast executions of those hostages in response to Israeli airstrikes.
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Roee and Ilan Yaakov on the Israel National Trail. (Fox News Digital)
Roee Yaakov, 24, of Tel Aviv, told Fox News Digital his brother, Ilan Moshe Yaakov, 29, and cousin were in attendance at the festival and are presently missing.
“We got video from him a few moments after they start to see the rockets toward Israel,” Yaakov said. “It took a little bit of time and after that, they started to hear shooting, not from rockets, from guns, and they start to see terrorists.”
Roee Yaakov is an officer in the Israeli Army and Infantry. He told Fox he is aware that his commander in the army, second chief and other commanders have been killed. He was called upon to deploy for war two days ago, but stayed back to care for the family he refuses to leave behind.
“My family here is broken,” he said. “I cannot leave my sister and my mother here alone.”
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The Yaakov family grew up in Tel Aviv in what Roee described as somewhat of a “slum” neighborhood. He shared that Ilan moved away from Israel for a while, but when he returned, he began work with a youth center in the same neighborhood.
Ilan worked with Israeli children after school, participated in fun activities and advised on various but educational matters of life with them. He gave them a happy place away from violent situations at home, even just for a brief time.
“It’s very tough work, especially in Israel,” he said of his brother’s role as a manager and instructor at the youth center. “He really liked the youth and to give from himself to our neighborhood.” Roee explained that his brother wanted to be part of the Tel Aviv municipality and volunteer an even greater positive influence on the city.
“He is a very generous guy, very happy guy, always happy, always in a good mood, always positive.”
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Roee was in Brussels when he first heard of the terrorist attacks on Israel. It was inherent that he returned to Israel immediately.
“I started to understand this is getting real,” in reference to the video of Ilan. “I knew then: he’s missing.”
The Yaakov siblings, including Roee, are doing everything they can to locate their brother during the most atrocious and deadliest times for the Jewish community since the Holocaust.
“My little brother, 19-years-old, he decided to go by himself to the south to the war zone to search for our brother,” Roee said of the youngest brother Tal Yaakov. “He wanted to be with the cops and the army and to try to find something, any clue, that could give us little bit of information.”
Tal did not come up empty-handed through his search. He discovered the neon yellow shirt Ilan was wearing in the video as rockets were fired overhead. Though the shirt was recovered, it was not on Ilan and bore holes. Roee encouraged Tal to return from the south, but he chose to stay.
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Members of the Yaakov family. (Fox News Digital)
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Ilan Yaakov photographed with members of his family. (Fox News Digital)
The Yaakov family is looking for even the smallest clue as to where Ilan might be. They have not heard from him in days, since the massacre and kidnappings of Israeli civilians began, but Roee is hoping to understand more about what happened to Ilan. The last reported communication from Ilan was when he answered a call from his boss. His boss sought Ilan’s counsel on whether to open the youth center or not as it is underground and safer for civilians.
“We are looking for if people saw him. Was he running away?”
The family is asking anyone who might have been with him or saw him to indicate anything about his whereabouts.
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Roee told Fox News Digital that his brother is a wonderful guy who loves his country, trusts her and would do everything for her. Ilan gets called upon each year for a few days to fight for Israel and Roee says he does it very willingly.
“We all trust the country to bring him back alive,” he concluded.
Gabriele Regalbuto is an SEO editor at Fox News Digital. Gabriele has a Journalism and Communications degree from West Virginia University. She has worked to produce content for newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms. At Fox, she has assisted in coverage of breaking news events including the 2024 presidential cycle, 2022 midterm elections, Queen Elizabeth II’s death, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.