Photographer’s Harrowing Before and After Pictures of Israeli Festival Attack

Israeli dance festival
People enjoying themselves at the Israeli music festival before the attack, left. A woman shields herself on the floor after the terrorist attack begun, right. | Ido Derby and Liav Franko

A photographer who was hired to shoot the music festival in Israel that was attacked by Hamas militants on Sunday has shared his before and after photos of the deadly assault.

Ido Derby was in-attendance at Nova, an Israeli trance-music festival in Southern Israel, where at least 260 people died with the photographer himself having a lucky escape.

“At the start of the festival, we were very excited. It was a huge festival and a chance for us photographers to capture one of these days,” Derby tells Insider.

Derby says the trance music festival was a huge event and a chance for people to go out and celebrate while enjoying some music.

A girl enjoying herslef at the festival

A group of people having fun at Nova not knowing what was about to unfold.

His before photos show smiling faces illuminated by colorful lights, performers expressing themselves, and couples embracing. But the last photo he took could not have been more different.

“I couldn’t realize that my life was in danger,” Derby recalls after he first began hearing explosions.

“When I hear sirens or hear missiles, I’m not panicked. When tourists come to our country and hear sirens, it’s maybe traumatic for people, but for me, I see missiles, and it’s very interesting.”

Festival goers

Festival goers

The music soon stopped and a voice over the speaker system boomed: “Guys, we have red alert. Red alert.” Soon, Hamas terrorists were in the crowd killing indiscriminately.

“It changed in a moment,” Derby tells Insider. “I was very upset that the festival ended because of terror.”

A woman sheilds herself
The last photo that Derby took at the festival.

As he fled, Derby took one final photo: A woman lying on the floor with her hands covering her head.

“That photo — we took it at 06:30. It was like five minutes after the first missiles started, shot above us,” says Derby.

Derby escaped in a car and after realizing that Hamas militants were shooting and killing his fellow festival-goers he had a panic attack.

“You couldn’t drive anywhere. Every direction, you could have been in a situation where you’d get shot,” he says.

He tells Insider that he could see people getting shot and falling to the floor in the wing mirror of the car.

“God saved us,” adds Derby said. “It was something like a miracle.”

Image credits: Photographs by Ido Derby and Liav Franko