After harrowing escape, Oct. 7 survivor offers surprising wish for post-Hamas Gaza

Natalie Sanandaji, who was at the music festival when the Oct. 7 attacks happened, said that just because someone is against Hamas doesn't mean they're against innocent Palestinians. 
Gaza woman, child, Gaza Strip, Oct. 29, 2023

As the sun was rising on Oct. 7, Natalie Sanandaji awoke at the Israeli music festival where she hoped to celebrate the Jewish holiday. It was not music that stirred her awake, but rather the sounds of rockets overhead, and then gunfire from terrorists on paragliders and screams of fallen victims.

She took off running and did not stop for miles until a Good Samaritan in a pickup truck rescued her and whisked her to safety along with others. Most of those who chose to hide, perished.

Now about 100 days from that tragedy, Sanandaji looks forward to the day when the terror group that perpetrated that slaughter, Hamas, is routed from Gaza and the Palestinians and Israelis have a chance to reboot relations.

"Hopefully, I want post-Hamas Gaza to look the same way I would like Iran to look in the future," Sanandaji told the Just the News, No Noise TV show. "I would like for them to have an actual democracy. That's the only way that their people are going to have potentially a better future."

Sanandaji, who is of Israeli and Iranian descent and was raised in New York, was at the music festival when the Oct. 7 attacks happened and said that just because someone is against Hamas doesn't mean they're against innocent Palestinians. 

"Something that's a little upsetting is that a lot of the time when I'm posting about what's happening about the war and about the fact that we should come together against Hamas, a lot of people like to try to put words in my mouth," she explained. "They'll respond to what I'm posting and they'll say 'why do you have a problem with Palestinians? Why are you being Islamophobic?'"

"For people to take the fact that I'm anti a terrorist organization and am anti a terrorist organization killing innocent people, and translating that to having something against innocent Palestinians or being Islamophobic is very upsetting," she added. "Because it just shows how brainwashed a lot of people are."

The Israel-Hamas war began on Oct. 7 after the terrorist organization launched a surprise attack on Israel which resulted in around 1,200 people being killed and another 240 kidnapped. 

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry reports that over 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in the war without distinguishing between Hamas terrorists and Palestinian civilians.

Sanandaji was at the music festival where many Israelis were killed and says she remembers running for her life. 

"Festival goers were running in every direction," she recalled. "It was chaos. One of these decisions that ultimately saved our life was the decision to keep running instead of hiding. A lot of kids who tried to hide ended up being found by the Hamas terrorists and were shot on the spot."

She said that she and others were saved by a man in a truck who drove towards where the attack was happening and drove innocent civilians away from it. 

"He risked his own life," Sanandaji said. He was from the town of Patish, which was the town that we were told to run towards for safety. We still had probably another hour and a half to two hour run until we got there. But he left the safety of his town and he drove towards all this chaos to save innocent lives. He did so over and over again for hours on that day, and he saved countless lives."

She said that she wants other countries to realize that they all have a common enemy in Hamas. 

"I want them to understand that we have the same enemy before it's too late," Sanandaji said. "I think as someone who comes from an Iranian background as well, I see that my fellow Iranians that live in Iran, that for them, it was too late and they were attacked by their government. They were killed almost exactly a year before the October 7 attacks. They understand that we have the same enemy because it was too late for them because they were attacked prior."