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Family searching for Israeli DJ after attack on music festival

Laor Abramov and his girlfriend are unaccounted for following Saturday's attack at a music festival near border with Gaza.
Family searching for Israeli DJ after attack on music festival
Posted at 9:19 AM, Oct 10, 2023

Among the most devastating scenes during Saturday's attack in Israel was at a music festival near the Gaza/Israel border. According to Israeli officials, nearly 260 people died at the Nova Festival as Hamas fighters attacked it. 

The Israel Defense Forces said that over 900 Israelis have died amid the fighting. The Palestinian-run Ministry of Health said 687 Palestinians have died from Israel's retaliation. 

Rachel Meijler, aunt of Laor Abramov, a missing disc jockey who performed at the festival, is among those still looking for a loved one. As of Tuesday morning, Abramov remains unaccounted for. Abramov is the son of the popular Israeli musician DJ Darwish.

"It's driving me nuts and you can only imagine his parents that are in total despair," said Meijler. "They know nothing. They went to the morgues, they are going through the list. He's not on the list of the hostages. He's not on the list of the murdered people."

SEE MORE: Music festival in Israel becomes site for death and abduction

Meijler said Abramov's parents were asked to provide DNA so authorities could help find him. Abramov's family has also been using social media for clues on his whereabouts. 

"We have a lot of friends that are helping us and are already trying to look," she said. "We found actually on the same day on Saturday, we found a photo with Laor standing in a shelter, so we know he wasn't murdered straight away. He was able to run somewhere. We don't know exactly where that shelter is, if it's in the kibbutz nearby or in the fields. We know that some of the other kids that are in the shelter standing with him, that's in the pictures, they actually were murdered and some of them are taken hostage."

Meijler called her nephew a "gentle giant."

"His big dream is becoming a DJ like his father," Meijler said. "He's gentle, he's great and he's just a sweet boy and he came to the party to celebrate life. He was just dancing with his girlfriend and both have been missing since then. You understand our sorrow."

The IDF has conducted bombings targeting Hamas fighters in the Gaza Strip. Those missions have Meijler on edge.

"We are afraid. We don't know exactly what will happen," she said. "We understand that Israel will retaliate, which is unbearable because we know that our loved ones and other loved ones are still there. There are 300 people unaccounted for. If they are all in Gaza or if they are murdered, it doesn't matter. At the moment we want our people back, so if the bombings, they are necessary maybe, but they are also frightening but we want peace."

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