By Isabel Keane
The mother of Shani Louk, a German Israeli woman beheaded by Hamas after terrorists paraded her through the streets of Gaza, said she found some relief in the fact that her daughter “didn’t suffer” and was likely killed during Hamas’ initial Oct. 7 attack.
The 23-year-old tattoo artist became a symbol of the horrors of Hamas’ surprise attack on a festival near Kibbutz Re’im after a video of her body being marched through the streets of Gaza gained traction online.
Hours after the attack, videos of Louk’s lifeless body in the back of a truck surrounded by armed Hamas terrorists made their way back to her family, who recognized her immediately.
Her mother, Ricarda, at first thought her daughter survived the attack and was unconscious while being carted through the Gaza Strip.
Now, she says she believes Shani was killed the same day Hamas launched its surprise attack, possibly by being shot in the head.
“At least she didn’t suffer,” Ricarda Louk told German broadcaster RTL.
She said her daughter’s body has yet to be found, but a splinter of a skull bone was located and submitted for a DNA test that confirmed her death.
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog on Monday confirmed that the DNA found on the skull fragment matched Louk.
“This means that these barbaric, sadistic animals simply chopped off her head as they attacked, tortured and killed Israelis,” Herzog told Germany’s Bild newspaper, according to a translation by i24 News.
“It is a great tragedy and I extend my deepest condolences to her family.”
“What we saw on the Gaza-Israel border goes far beyond a pogrom. We saw a slaughterhouse,” he said.
“We saw the blood flowing in the streets. We have seen the most horrific tragedies imaginable,” Herzog concluded.
Louk’s sister, Adi, also posted an emoji of a broken heart as she shared with “great sadness” the news that her sister was killed in the “festival of blood at Re’im.”
As terrorists inundated the festival, Louk called her mother to tell her she was trying to get to her car to leave. Hours later, Shani’s family came across disturbing footage of her seemingly lifeless body lying in the back of a pickup truck surrounded by armed men.
The armed men chanted “Allahu Akbar” — Arabic for “God is great” — as they paraded Shani’s body around, eventually taking her into the Gaza Strip, the video shows.
Louk, a tattoo artist, had lived in Israel but spent part of her childhood in Portland, Oregon, where she attended kindergarten at the Jewish Portland Academy.
Over 260 were killed at the site of the Tribe of Nova dance rave in the Negev Desert music festival, according to Israeli rescue service Zaka.
As of Monday, at least 1,400 people in Israel have been killed while 8,005 in Gaza have been killed. Tens of thousands on both sides have been injured and displaced from their homes as the war nears the one-month mark.