Nova ravers suing Israel military for failing to stop Hamas attack

Nova ravers suing Israel military for failing to stop Hamas attack
Attendees of the Nova music festival are suing the Israeli military, saying that a deadly Hamas attack on the event on 7 October 'could have been prevented'.
2 min read
03 January, 2024
Dozens of Nova festival goers have said that Israel's military, police and internal security agency could have prevented the attack on the event on 7 October [Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty]

Dozens of people who attended the Nova music festival on 7 October are suing the Israeli military for failing to stop Hamas from attacking the event.

Some 42 of those who survived the attack filed a complaint on Monday against the Israeli military, police, and the Shin Bet internal security service, for 200 million shekels (US$55 million), Israeli media reported.

They said that "were it not for the failures and negligence of the defendants, jointly and severally, the disaster could have been prevented".

The festival, held close to Israel's heavily fortified border with the long besieged Gaza Strip, was one of several places attacked by Hamas fighters during its Al-Aqsa Flood operation.

About 360 people were killed at the festival, according to Israeli police, including some by Israeli helicopter fire.

Hamas took some 40 people from the event as hostages.

The complaint says that the festival should not have been approved by security forces, and that the event should have been ended as soon as security warnings were given a few hours before the attack on the festival occurred.

Israeli media reported last week that a senior Israel army officer had voiced security concern over the festival being held so close to Gaza -- an objection that was reportedly seconded by other officers.

Fears were not of a full-blown incursion, but of mortar and rocket fire, it was reported.

An Israeli police investigation into the attack reportedly found that Hamas likely did not know about the festival before 7 October and had instead chosen to target the festival after spotting it in the early stages of their incursion.

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However, Israel's prime minister and top security figures had reportedly been warned earlier in 2023 that Hamas or Iran-backed Palestinian or Lebanese groups could launch a large-scale attack on Israel.

Some 1,100 people were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, while more than 200 others were taken hostage.

Soon after the attack, Israel unleashed an intensive bombing campaign on Gaza that has so far killed more than 22,000 people.