The nature party at Kibbutz Re'im, one of the bloodiest scenes in the Hamas attack, was marked by tragedy and tales of heroism.
Days later, as information continues to circulate, families of participants struggle amid the collapse of authorities. Romi Feldman, who attended the event, marveled at the multitude of beautiful and innocent people who had been there.
Professional photographers Ido Darby and Liav Franco seized the opportunity to upload photos online, hoping to assist with identification and reunion.
"Even if we help only a few families," Darby wrote, "it will be worth it." (For the full album, click here.)
"We arrived at the party at 5:00 a.m., and an hour later we heard alarms and saw rockets overhead," recounted one of the partygoers. An estimated 3,000 people attended the event. "As we headed to our car, we encountered terrorists at checkpoints who opened fire, ruthlessly killing unconscious victims.
More terrorists emerged, shooting at us. I started running, desperate to evade bullets coming from every direction."
Currently, many party participants remain missing, their fate uncertain—whether they perished on the field or were abducted into the Gaza Strip.
One partygoer expressed regret for not being stronger in aiding with identification efforts for affected families, sharing the inner turmoil caused by this worry.
"The memory of the shots fired and the haunting gaze I witnessed continues to burn within me," she said. "They were beautiful and righteous individuals who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time—a picturesque party turned into a scene of bloodshed."