Published18 hours ago
The mother of Shani Louk, an Israeli-German woman thought to have been kidnapped by Hamas gunmen at a music festival in Israel, says her daughter is dead.
Speaking to German media, Ricarda Louk said she had been told by the Israeli military that a DNA sample taken from part of a skull bone proved to be Shani’s.
Her body has not yet been found.
Shani’s sister also confirmed the death on social media.
Adi Louk wrote on Instagram on Monday that Shani had been killed in the “massacre at Re’im” – a reference to the attack staged by Hamas in southern Israel, near the Gaza Strip, on 7 October.
But it was not clear from the reports where or when the fragment of her skull had been found.
Israel’s foreign ministry wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that it was “devastated” to have to share the news of her death.
The 22-year-old had been attending the festival near the Kibbutz Re’im when gunmen opened fire and sent terrified partygoers fleeing through the desert.
More than 260 people were killed, the Israeli authorities said, while others were taken hostage.
Soon after the attack, a video began circulating widely on social media, showing the body of a young woman being paraded through the streets in the back of a flatbed truck, surrounded by armed fighters and others yelling “Allahu Akbar” (God is Greatest).
The woman was lying face down but Ms Louk’s family say they identified her from her dreadlocks and distinctive tattoos.
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While there was speculation online and in the media that she was dead, Ms Louk’s mother said at the time she believed her daughter was alive.
“We were sent a video in which I could clearly see our daughter unconscious in the car with the Palestinians and them driving around the Gaza Strip,” Ricarda Louk said in an appeal for information posted online.
Speaking to the German TV news channel RTL/ntv on Monday, Ricarda Louk said she now assumed her daughter had been dead since 7 October and may have been shot in the head during the Hamas attack.
“At least she [Shani] didn’t suffer,” she said, adding that it was good to have certainty.
More than 1,400 people were killed in the attacks by Hamas, according to the Israeli authorities, but there has been a delay in identifying some people due to the poor condition of some of the bodies.
More than 220 are thought to have been taken hostage and four people have been released.
Meanwhile, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza says more than 8,000 people have been killed since Israel’s retaliatory bombing began.