Ben Shimoni managed to get out of the Supernova music festival-turned-into-chaos, initially saving the lives of four women on the morning of October 7, but later lost his own life after altruistically deciding to go back to the massacre site to save additional people.
Keren Shimoni, his cousin, told The Independent that the family was heartbroken when their desperate search for him ended with the bitter discovery of his death.
Earlier, when Hamas terrorists attacked thousands of party-goers, Shimoni — a young business owner from Jerusalem who grew up in the Gaza Jewish settlement bloc Gush Katif that was evacuated in 2005 — helped four women near him to get into his car.
Miraculously he dodged the thousands of bullets piercing the air, after Hamas terrorists parachuted into the festival and also entered in vans, shooting everyone in sight and ultimately taking hostages.
After managing to get himself and four women to safety in Beersheva, Shimoni announced that he was going back to help others. The women pleaded with him not to go back to the area of the rave, near Kibbutz Re’im, a short distance from the Gaza border.
Despite their pleas, Shimoni made the trip back to Re’im not once, not twice — but three times, saving an additional eight people. His cousin told The Independent that he was last heard talking to his girlfriend over the phone, when an explosion was heard and the call cut off.
For five days, his family searched for any sign of life until the official declaration of his death. His vehicle had been found destroyed, on the side of the road.
The family was not at all surprised that he had risked his life to save others.
“Ben would just do what he feels is right, regardless of the risk to himself,” Keren told The Independent. “That’s within his character.”
Shimoni’s girlfriend, Jessica, told Kol Ha’ir that “everyone who talked to him that morning begged him not to go back, but despite his brother, father and her pleading, “he went back to the inferno, and then went back again.”