Israeli in Utah says sister was among those who escaped attack on rave

Oct 10, 2023, 10:19 PM | Updated: 11:08 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — An Israeli living in Utah said Tuesday her sister was among those who escaped from an attack on a rave near the Gaza border over the weekend.

According to reports, militants killed at least 260 people at the event while taking an unknown number hostage.

Maya Skurnik, who moved to Utah in November and works for the Jewish Federation of Utah, said her 25-year-old sister, Syuval, suddenly found herself in the middle of the chaos.

“It all started with a missile attack on the party,” Skurnik said. “Before this attack was over, the shooting started.”

Skurnik told KSL 5 her sister began running toward her friends’ car but the group soon decided that was a bad idea.

“She couldn’t tell where the shots were coming from — she said they were from every direction,” Skurnik said. “Other gunmen were waiting for cars at the end of the road and so they started shooting at cars too.”

According to Skurnik, the group continued to flee over the next several hours, taking cover whenever possible behind trees and in bushes when they weren’t lying flat on the ground.

Eventually, their route took them to an abandoned farm, but they decided not to stay there. Skurnik said it proved to be the right move, since militants eventually reached that area.

Skurnik said her sister and others ultimately reached the relative safety of a nearby village, where her sister was able to call her family from someone else’s phone roughly seven hours after the attack began.

“Some of the friends she was with are still missing,” Skurnik said. “She has friends who were killed.”

She said many Israelis have felt helpless amid the violence.

“People have been burned alive in their homes, people have been murdered and filmed and beheaded and raped,” Skurnik said. “I need people to open their eyes and look at what’s been happening in Israel.”

Skurnik said she was just grateful her sister escaped the party.

“I just can’t believe how lucky we got,” Skurnik said.

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Israeli in Utah says sister was among those who escaped attack on rave