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Israel: Woman whose body was paraded naked, spat on by Hamas militants identified as German tourist

It is still unconfirmed whether the woman has been killed, even as numerous social media posts say so. The woman is a tattoo artist and hair stylist, according to social media accounts that apparently belong to her.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Jerusalem Published on: October 08, 2023 17:34 IST
Shani Louk, the woman whose body was paraded naked by Hamas
Image Source : X Shani Louk, the woman whose body was paraded naked by Hamas militants

A viral video on social media showing a woman's motionless body being paraded naked and spat on by Hamas militants after their unprecedented attack on Israel has been identified as a German tourist.

Shani Louk, tattoo artist and hair stylist in her early 20s, was among the hundreds of victims as Hamas militants targeted a music event near Kibbutz Urm during their surprise assault on Israel on Saturday, reported The New York Post. Over 350 people have been killed in Israel as Hamas launched a barrage of rockets at the country.

As the disturbing video spread on social media, family members recognised Shani, her first cousin told the Washington Post. Members of the Hamas group chanted 'Allahu Akbar' as they paraded her almost naked body on the streets. One of them had her leg on her waist and another militant grabbed part of her dreadlocks.

Her cousin Tom Weintraub Louk said that her family has been trying to get in touch with her since Hamas militants infiltrated from the Gaza Strip. "We knew she was in the party. She didn’t answer," he said.

CNN reported that Shani was a German-Israeli dual-national, who was attending the Nova Festival, celebrating the Israeli harvest festival Sukkot near Re'im. It is unconfirmed whether she is dead, although many social media posts have indicated as such.

"We recognized her by the tattoos, and she has long dreadlocks," her cousin told the Washington Post. "We have some kind of hope. Hamas is responsible for her and the others," he added.

In another video, Shani's mother Ricarda said, "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."

The Israel-Hamas conflict

Hamas launched a wave of rocket attacks on Saturday, killing over 350 people in Israel in the biggest escalation in decades. Israel has responded with a wave of air strikes on Gaza, killing at least 313 Palestinians, CNN reported citing the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Hamas fired over 3,000 rockets in an unprecedented attack on Israel on Saturday as part of 'Operation Al-Aqsa Storm'. Dozens of Hamas fighters infiltrated the heavily fortified border with Israel in several locations by air, sea and land. This marks the deadliest attack by the Hamas group, designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States, the European Union and other countries, on Israel in several years.

A number of civilians and Israeli soldiers have been taken hostage by Hamas militants as Netanyahu called for war against the armed group. Horrifying visuals emerged on social media showing the militants parading hostages, celebrating the rocket strikes and stealing IDF vehicles.

Gunbattles continued well after nightfall, and militants held hostages in standoffs in two towns and occupied a police station in a third. The fighters took captives back into the coastal Gaza enclave, including women, children and the elderly, who they will likely try to trade for thousands of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

(with agency inputs)

ALSO READ | Israel considering emergency unity govt as war escalates following Hamas's surprise attack: Report

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