According to the BBC, Louk’s death was confirmed after investigators matched her DNA with a sample taken from a skull bone fragment. It’s not yet clear where or when the skull fragment was found. Louk’s body also hasn’t been located yet.
As such, an exact cause of death hasn’t been officially determined. Speaking with the German TV news channel RTL/ntv, Louk’s mother, Ricarda, said she believed her daughter may have been shot in the head during the attack. “At least she didn’t suffer,” Ricarda said.
On Twitter, the Israel Foreign Ministry said, “We are devastated to share that the death of 23 year old German-Israeli Shani Luk was confirmed. Shani who was kidnapped from a music festival and tortured and paraded around Gaza by Hamas terrorists, experienced unfathomable horrors. Our hearts are broken. May her memory be a blessing.”
Louk’s story garnered international attention following the attack on the Nova festival, after a video circulated that showed her body being paraded through the streets on the back of a flatbed truck. While Louk’s face was not visible, her family said they were able to identify her by her dreadlocks and tattoos.
At least 260 people were killed when Hamas insurgents attacked the Nova festival, with dozens more taken as hostages. The festival was held in southern Israel near Kibbutz Re’im, about three miles from the Gaza border. Chen Mizrachi, an artist manager who helped with festival logics, told Rolling Stone in a recent report, “It’s crazy to do a massacre like that on innocent people. Young people with dreams. They just wanted peace, love, and to travel the world.”
The Nova festival attack was part of Hamas’ larger assault on Israel, which left over 1,400 people dead in the deadliest attack on the country in decades. Immediately after, Israel mounted a siege against Gaza, launching airstrikes and depriving 2 million Palestinians of electricity, food, water, and fuel; more recently, Israeli troops entered Gaza as part of a ground invasion. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least 8,000 people in Gaza have died.