Shani Louk’s heartbroken father today said the abducted festivalgoer ‘was killed on the spot’ by Hamas terrorists and ‘did not suffer’ after the Israeli president claimed the German tattoo artist was beheaded.
Nissim Louk said his 22-year-old daughter had been dancing with her friends at the Nova electronic festival near Kibbutz Reim on October 7 when the Hamas gunmen began shooting anyone they saw.
Mr Louk claimed Shani and her friends tried to escape the massacre in their car but ten minutes later they were met by armed Hamas terrorists who shot at the vehicle, killing his daughter ‘instantly’. He said his daughter ‘did not suffer’.
However, the Israeli President Yitzchak Herzog revealed today that the young festivalgoer was decapitated and that Israeli officials had found the base of her skull. It’s now not clear what exactly happened to Shani before she died.
‘I am truly sorry to report that we have now received news that Shani Nicole Louk has been confirmed murdered and dead. Her skull has been found,’ Herzog told the German newspaper Bild.
‘This means that these barbaric, sadistic animals simply chopped off her head as they attacked, tortured and killed Israelis. It is a great tragedy and I extend my deepest condolences to her family.’
For more than three weeks, Shani’s family had been helplessly waiting for news that their beloved daughter had survived the Hamas attack and could be released by the terrorists.
But earlier today, her heartbroken mother and sister announced the news they had been dreading.
‘Unfortunately we got the news yesterday that my daughter is no longer alive,’ mother Ricarda said on German broadcaster RTL. Shani’s sister Adi wrote on Instagram that she ‘announced with great sadness the death of my sister’.
Shani Louk, 22, was kidnapped from Israel to Gaza by Hamas terrorists on October 7 from the Nova music festival near Kibbutz Reim. Hamas gunmen took at least 200 hostages and killed about 1,400 people during the dawn raid
Ms Louk’s motionless body was paraded by Hamas gunmen after the festival attack in Israel. It was unclear if she was alive in the video, although her mother later stated that she was alive and being held in a Gaza hospital
Nissim Louk said his 22-year-old daughter had been dancing with her friends at the Nova electronic festival near Kibbutz Reim on October 7 when the Hamas gunmen began shooting anyone they saw
Shani’s sister Adi wrote on Instagram that she ‘announced with great sadness the death of my sister’
The circumstances surrounding Shani’s death is unclear. The German-Israeli had been paraded through the streets in front of jeering crowds who spat on her motionless body in sickening scenes.
It was unclear if she was alive in the video, although her mother later stated that she was alive and behind held in a Gaza hospital.
But Shani’s father has now claimed his daughter was shot dead ten minutes after she fled the festival, suggesting that she was dead in the footage of her lying motionless in the back of the truck.
‘Until about 6.45am [on October 7], Shani was still dancing, cheering and going wild at the party and was surrounded by all her best friends,’ Mr Louk told Israeli news site N12. He said their family called a frantic Shani after they heard reports of missiles in the area before she fled in her car.
Mr Louk revealed his 22-year-old daughter was racing down the road to try and flee the terrorists but the gunmen shot at her vehicle.
‘She was killed on the spot and not only did she not suffer – ten minutes earlier she was still enjoying herself,’ Mr Louk said. But his comments come after the Israeli President said Shani had been murdered by the terrorists and decapitated after a part of her skull was found. It is not yet known where her skull was found.
The IDF and volunteers from the Zaka emergency response team said the bone from the base of a skull, without which a person can’t survive, matched with Shani’s DNA.
Shani had been dancing at the music event along with her friends on October 7, not noticing the black-clad paragliders descending on the fields surrounding the festival with their grenades and machine guns.
But the young revellers soon heard the sound of air raid sirens and saw the rockets streak overhead.
Shani was one of scores of festivalgoers who were abducted in the savage attack that left 260 people dead. Harrowing video shows her unconscious body splayed in the back of a truck, with one leg at an unnatural angle, while being surrounded by four terrorists who were shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’.
Shani’s boyfriend, Mexican national Orión Hernández Radoux, is also believed to have been taken by terrorists in the attack.
Her family had blasted the German government for ignoring their pleas for help after they were told she was still alive in Gaza.
Shani’s aunt Orly Louk and her uncle Wilfried Gehr pleaded with the German government in a television interview on the programme ‘ZDF heute’ days after her kidnap.
They said: ‘We’ve been begging the German government to help for three days now.
‘We are unsettled and totally disappointed that the Federal Government does not feel responsible. One from the Foreign Office said he doesn’t have time because they have to rebook flights. That makes me so angry.’
Shani is German but grew up in Israel, and was one of hundreds of partygoers at the Nova festival where Hamas conducted a massacre of some 260 civilians.
According to Der Spiegel magazine, the tattoo artist and pacifist had never lived in Germany, but has a German passport and visited her grandparents in Ravensburg in the southern German state of Baden-Württemberg several times.
It came one day after Shani’s mother Ricarda – a Catholic who later converted to Judaism and emigrated to Israel – revealed she received word from Palestine that her daughter is still alive.
The news had provided fresh hope after videos emerged of an unconscious and partially naked Shani being paraded through the streets by Hamas terrorists as onlookers spat on her motionless body.
Shani Louk (right) is pictured alongside her cousin
Orly Louk, aunt of 22-year-old Shani Louk, sits on a couch and shows a photo of her niece as she hit out at the German government’s indifference to her predicament
Shani, 22, was German but grew up in Israel, and was one of hundreds of unsuspecting partygoers at the Nova festival where Hamas conducted a massacre of some 260 civilians
Ricarda Louk told German outlet Bild on on October 10: ‘We now have evidence that Shani is alive but has a serious head injury and is in critical condition. Every minute is critical.
‘You have to act quickly and get Shani out of the Gaza Strip!’ she declared in the message directed at German officials. We shouldn’t argue about questions of jurisdiction now!’
Orly said Shani had refused to take up the military service that is mandatory for Israelis due to her pacifist views, adding that her German passport helped with this.
Ricarda earlier released a heartbreaking video begging for help to find out what happened to her daughter.
Holding a picture of Shani on her mobile phone, Ricarda said on October 9: ‘This morning my daughter, Shani Nicole Louk, a German citizen, was kidnapped with a group of tourists in southern Israel by Palestinian Hamas.
‘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.
‘I ask you to send us any help or any news. Thank you very much.’
Video shows a smiling Shani, who loved to travel according to her family, dancing at the music festival moments before she was captured by the terrorists
Shani’s mother, Ricarda, holding up a picture of her daughter on her mobile phone in an emotional video appeal begging for help to find out what happened to her daughter
Shani, who grew up in Israel but had a German passport, had refused to take up the military service that is mandatory for Israelis due to her views
Hamas had claimed the body was a female Israeli soldier – but it was confirmed to be Shani by her cousin Tomasina Weintraub-Louk, who told MailOnline that the family recognised her distinctive leg tattoos and dreadlocked hair.
She said: ‘We have heard nothing. We are hoping for positive news. It is definitely Shani.
‘She was at a music festival for peace. This is a nightmare for our family.’
Tomasina said she and other family members had been desperately trying to contact Shani as well as her Mexican boyfriend, but they couldn’t get through.
‘We knew she was in the party, she didn’t answer,’ Tomasina said.
Her parents said they had not heard from their daughter since a phone call early on October 7, just after Hamas launched their first rockets.
But her family said they had since received information from her bank that Shani’s credit card had been used in Gaza.
German tattoo artist named Shani Louk, who was in her early 20s, was in Israel to attend a peace rave
Her family, who were desperately hoping that Shani is still alive despite the footage of her body, said she was a pacifist and a peace campaigner who was known for her involvement in organising music festivals
Palestinian fighters can be seen cheering and driving away as Shani’s body lies motionless in the back of the truck
The music festival attended by Shani was one of the first sites to be attacked by the terrorist group.
Survivors described how the gunmen went ‘tree by tree’ executing victims.
Clips posted to social media show how revellers were forced to hide under bushes and record hushed farewell messages to their loved ones as they watched victims get killed one by one.
Many lay still in sheer terror for more than five hours before they heard the sound of armed rescuers speaking in Hebrew.
The Palestinian terrorist group stormed the Nova festival that had been taking place near Kibbutz Re’im, close to the Gaza Strip, as part of its surprise assault launched on October 7.
On October 11, harrowing dashcam footage from the incident showed gunmen executing civilians as they lay in the sand before rifling through their pockets and emptying bags from their cars.
Palestinian militants brandishing weapons as they passed through Israeli territory on trucks on October 7, 2023
Israeli civilians and soldiers were taken off the street and driven back into Gaza on October 7, 2023
In a second video widely shared on social media, a woman screaming ‘Don’t kill me!’ can be seen being driven off on a motorbike by a gunman.
She has since been identified as Noa Argamani, 25, a student who was seized at the same outdoor peace festival she had attended with her boyfriend close to the border.
Esther Borochov, who fled the rave party, said she survived by playing dead in a car after the driver trying to help her escape was shot point blank.
Bodies of Israeli civilians were strewn across the streets of Sderot in southern Israel, near Gaza, surrounded by broken glass. The bodies of a woman and a man were sprawled across the front seats of a car.
‘I went out, I saw loads of bodies of terrorists, civilians, cars shot up. A sea of bodies, inside Sderot along the road, other places, loads of bodies,’ said Shlomi from Sderot.
Terrified Israelis, barricaded into safe rooms, recounted their plight by phone on live TV.
Other footage showed captured soldiers and civilians – some dead – being paraded through Gaza’s streets.
Hamas has so far released four hostages following mediation by Qatar and Egypt. Two elderly Israeli women were set free on Monday, while an American-Israeli woman and her daughter were released on October 20.