Shani Lauk: A mother seeks help after her daughter goes missing at a festival

  • By Rachel Russell
  • BBC News

image source, Shani Luke’s family

image caption,

Shani’s mother says she saw a video of her daughter unconscious in the car

A German mother is appealing for information about her daughter, who she believes was abducted by Palestinian militants at a music festival in Israel and paraded through the streets in the back of a pick-up truck.

German tourist Shani Luke was attending the festival near the Gaza border when Hamas fighters entered the area and opened fire, sending terrified partygoers fleeing across the desert.

Her mother Ricardo said she saw a video of Shani “passed out in a car” after it was taken.

Holding a picture of the twenty-year-old on her cellphone, she said in a social media appeal that her daughter was “kidnapped by Palestinian Hamas with a group of tourists in southern Israel.”

“We were sent a video in which I clearly saw our daughter unconscious in the car with the Palestinians and they were driving around the Gaza Strip,” he said. “Please send us any help or message. Thank you very much.”

As news of the multi-pronged attack by Hamas inside Israeli territory broke early on Saturday, Ms Luke’s family desperately tried to contact her.

To their horror, they recognized her in a video widely shared on social media, showing the body of a young woman being paraded through the streets on the back of a flatbed truck, armed militiamen and others shouting “Allahu Akbar” (God is great).

The woman is lying face down, but her family say they have identified Ms Louk from her dreadlocks and distinctive tattoos.

image source, Shani Luke’s Instagram

image caption,

Shani – pictured here in Mexico – was attending the Ah Festival in Israel when she disappeared

“We have some hope,” his cousin Tom Weintrop Luke told the Washington Post. “Hamas is responsible for her and others.”

The Israeli government said 100 Israeli soldiers and civilians were abducted in the Hamas attack.

More on Israel-Gaza attacks

Others are reported missing from the festival, including British national Jack Marlowe, although it is not known whether he was taken hostage, the Israeli embassy in the UK told the BBC.

His mother told the Jewish News website that he was working as a security guard at a festival at Kibbutz Re’im, a community in the town of Ofakim, far from Gaza.

Videos posted on social media appeared to show an Israeli woman who attended the event, identified as Noa Arkhamani, being abducted by two men on a motorcycle.

The fighting comes after Israel was hit in a surprise attack by Hamas this weekend.

Palestinian militants launched a wave of rocket attacks and militants entered Israel on Saturday morning, killing hundreds and injuring thousands.

Hundreds were killed on the other side following Israeli airstrikes, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

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