The latest industry news to your inbox.

I'd like to hear about marketing opportunities


I accept IQ Magazine's Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy


Supernova survivors sue Israeli government for $56m

"One phone call separated the plaintiffs' lives and the integrity of their bodies and souls from the destruction of their lives"

By IQ on 03 Jan 2024

Scenes from Israel’s Supernova Sukkot festival

Scenes from Israel’s Supernova Sukkot festival

image © Kobi Gideon

Forty-two survivors of the 7 October massacre at Israel’s Supernova Sukkot festival are suing the government’s security forces for NIS 200 million ($56 million) in damages.

The plaintiffs filed the claim at the Tel Aviv District Court on Monday (1 January) against the Shin Bet security service, the Israel Defense Forces, the Israel Police, and the Defense Ministry, alleging multiple instances in which they failed in their duties.

“One phone call separated the plaintiffs’ lives and the integrity of their bodies and souls from the destruction of their lives,” reads the lawsuit, which is the largest tort claim ever filed in Israel against the state.

“A single phone call by IDF officials to the commander responsible for the party to disperse it immediately in view of the expected danger would have saved lives and prevented the physical and mental injuries of hundreds of partygoers, including the plaintiffs,” it continues. “The negligence and the gross oversight is beyond belief.”

According to the lawsuit, 364 attendees were killed and 40 kidnapped after Hamas stormed the second day of the trance music gathering, held near the Gaza-Israel border, as part of a wider coordinated attack on Israel. The festival, near Kibbutz Re’im, was attended by 3,500.

The claim cited reports following the massacre, which claimed senior officers in the Gaza Division expressed concerns over the party, and that the operations commander opposed it being held. It also noted that Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar held consultations the night before, and even sent a special operations team to the border the night before the onslaught.

“On the night between October 6 and October 7, at least two IDF assessments were held due to unusual incidents on the Gaza Strip border, one near midnight and another assessment close to 3 am, several hours before the Hamas attack,” the lawsuit reads.

“The negligence and the gross oversight is beyond belief”

The plaintiffs said that the IDF was unable to provide adequate security for the event since many soldiers were at home over the Simchat Torah holiday. Only 27 police officers were stationed at the festival, most of them not in possession of long arms, as required when based near the border.

Attorney Shimon Buchbut, a retired Air Force commander cited as an expert in the lawsuit, said that the IDF was negligent in giving approval for the party and that any reasonable official would not have allowed it to go ahead.

Among the damages listed in the lawsuit are loss of earnings, pain and suffering, loss of life’s pleasures, loss of future earnings, and medical expenses.

Executives from Israel’s live music industry have called the Hamas attack the “biggest-ever disaster at a music festival”, adding that business will be paused for the foreseeable future.

Festival organiser Tribe of Nova said it was “shocked and pained” in the immediate aftermath of the tragedy.

“This is the epitome of pure and unbridled evil, the horrifying and senseless murder of countless innocent angels, whose only ‘crime’ was being Jewish and living in Israel,” it added.

Nearly three months into the war, the death toll from Israeli attacks on Gaza surpassed 22,000 yesterday (3 January), according to reports from The Guardian.


Get more stories like this in your inbox by signing up for IQ Index, IQ’s free email digest of essential live music industry news.