Oz Davidian, right, with a group of Israelis he rescued on Oct. 7./COURTESY

Israeli who rescued 120 at the Nova site on Oct. 7 speaks in Salem

SHARE THIS STORY

HELP SUPPORT JEWISH JOURNAL

Israeli who rescued 120 at the Nova site on Oct. 7 speaks in Salem

Oz Davidian, right, with a group of Israelis he rescued on Oct. 7./COURTESY

Oz Davidian, an Israeli at­torney and farmer who rescued 120 people from the Nova music festival during the Oct. 7 Hamas attack, explained his heroic actions at a Lappin Foundation event in Salem on March 17.

Davidian, who is in his 50s, awoke on Oct. 7 to the sounds of thousands of missiles being fired from Gaza toward Israel. Davidian lives in a moshav in Maslul, about 10 miles from the site of the Nova festival, where 360 people – mostly Israelis – were murdered by Hamas terrorists. After learning about the attack, he hopped into his pick-up truck and drove back roads to the festival site, where he found dozens of young Israelis running for their lives.

He packed as many as he could into his truck and began driving back to his moshav. As they sped away from the Nova site, he handed his phone to the survivors and asked each one to call their parents and alert them that they were safe. After reaching his moshav, he asked his wife if he could go back to the site to find more Israelis.

“She said yes,” said Davidian, who turned around and drove back to the Nova site at Kibbutz Re’im – which sits about three miles from the Gaza border. Over the course of the day, he would eventually make over 15 trips to the site, packing a total of 120 into his truck.

On one of his trips he noticed Israeli police on Route 232, the main road that leads to the Nova site. And then he noticed bodies strewn across the road, and burning cars with Israelis inside. He slowed and spoke to a person in uniform who he thought was treating a wounded Israeli soldier. “He answered me in Arabic. He says they’re all dead,” said Davidian, who realized that it was a Hamas terrorist.

He floored the gas pedal, and zig-zagged along the two-lane road, in between bodies and burning cars, as terrorists aimed their guns at him. He was able to rescue a reserve Army officer, who had attended the Nova rave and had locations of people who were hiding on his phone. “I used those locations on my phone to go look for them and pick them up one by one,” he said.

As the day went on, word spread that an Israeli was rescuing people in a truck. “I got requests from young men and women hiding at the festival site and from parents all over the country, asking me to come and rescue the kids,” he said.

Each trip back to the moshav brought more distraught Israelis, who were cared for by Davidian’s family. He said he was compelled to save his fellow Israelis because he felt responsible for his fellow citizens. “On that day, we showed ourselves and the whole world, what is brotherly love,” he said. “We’re a community of heroes. And what we have together is our love for each other. And we’re willing to come out to rescue our brothers even if we didn’t know them before.”

Each person who was rescued wrote down their contact information, and these days there’s an active WhatsApp group that has grown into what Davidian calls a family. “I have four children, and now I have another 120 that I rescued,” he said. Θ

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Jewish Journal is reader supported

Jewish Journal is reader supported