Shani Louk: Israel Says Missing Tattoo Artist Is Dead

shani louk

Instagram (Shani Louk) Shani Louk

Shani Louk was identified as the German tattoo artist who was paraded on a pickup truck by Hamas militants in a graphic video that has caused outrage throughout the world, her family has confirmed.

Her cousin first confirmed Louk’s identity in comments to Louk’s mother told German media on October 10, three days after the video surfaced, that “her daughter is still alive,” according to Newsweek.

However, Israel announced on October 30, 2023, that Louk is dead and was beheaded by Hamas, according to NBC News.

“I am truly sorry to report that we have now received news that Shani Nicole Louk has been confirmed murdered and dead,” President Isaac Herzog told the German newspaper Bild, according to the New York Post.

“Her skull was found,” he said. The Post reported that DNA tests confirmed the skull was Louk’s.

“This means that these barbaric, sadistic animals simply chopped off her head as they attacked, tortured and killed Israelis,” he said, according to the Post.

However, The New York Times reported that Ruthi Louk, Louk’s aunt, said on Israeli radio on Monday “that a fragment from Ms. Louk’s skull was gathered at the rave site.”

To German TV news channel RTL/ntv, Louk’s mother, Ricarda, said she believed her daughter might have been shot in the head during the rave attack, according to Rolling Stone. “At least she didn’t suffer,” Ricarda said, according to Rolling Stone.

Louk was one of multiple Israeli hostages captured in videos that show abductions.

A woman named Adi Louk also wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter) on October 7: “This is my sister Shani louk. She it (sic) taken by Hamas. She is a German citizen.” The post contained the German translation of the same message. “Das Ist meine Schwester Shani Louk. Sie wurde heute von Hamas entfuehrt. Sie Ist deutsche Staatsbuergerin.”

Louk’s mother also posted a video speaking about her daughter’s abduction in German.

The video of the pickup truck, which went viral, is extremely graphic. According to, Hamas claimed the woman in the video was a female Israeli soldier, but Louk’s cousin Tomasina Weintraub-Louk confirmed to that Louk’s family had “recognized her distinctive leg tattoos and dreadlocked hair.” Louk is 30.

The Washington Post spoke to the same cousin, who confirmed that Shani Louk was missing after “militants overran an outdoor dance party near Kibbutz Urim on Saturday morning,” October 7, 2023. The Post reported that Louk also holds Israeli citizenship and wrote that Louk’s cousin confirmed that her family recognized her in a video surrounded by militants.

The video emerged as Hamas militants engaged in a deadly surprise strike against Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with a counteroffensive against Hamas, saying, according to NBC News, “We are embarking on a long and difficult war that was forced on us by a murderous Hamas attack.”

According to CNN, at least 300 people have died in the Hamas attacks, approximately 1,500 are injured, and there are other missing hostages.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. The Extremely Graphic Video Shows the Brutalized Young Woman on the Back of a Pickup Truck as Militants Jeer & Wave Weapons

shani louk

Instagram (Shani Louk)Shani Louk.

The video is too graphic to share here, but it is widely available on X. It shows a group of Hamas militants on the back of a pickup truck, parading a young woman’s unconscious or lifeless body around.

In the video she is wearing only underwear. Her leg is bent at an unnatural angle, and one of the militants has his leg on her body. The militants shout and wave weapons around.

Her tattoos are visible on her leg and appear to match tattoos in Instagram photos of Louk.

A friend wrote on Facebook, “I didn’t want to believe it’s true until I saw the leg tattoos in that horrible video 😭 Shani Louk I am so sorry 💔 you were always a bright face.”

She added: “Just this summer you were excitedly telling me about your plans for the future. Your soul lives on Angel. It’s a very dark and sad world, can’t imagine the fear she and others must have felt in those last moments 😭”

In another post in both Hebrew and Arabic, Adi Louk wrote, “Ask the gunmen to protect her safety and dignity, and remember that she is innocent and that she holds #German citizenship.”

هذه هي ابنة خالتي تدعي شاني لوك، الان في قبضة #حماس بعد اسرها من قبل المسلحين اليوم في #غلاف_غزة. اطلب من المسلحين الجفاظ على سلامتها وكرامتها واذكر بانها بريئة وانها تحمل الجنسية #الالمانية

זו אחותי שני לוק
היא מוחזקת בידי חמאס
היא אזרחית גרמניה!


The X page appears to have been created solely for that purpose.

2. Shani Louk Posted Photos on Instagram of Her Travels & Wrote That ‘Life Is a Blessing’

shani louk

Instagram (Shani Louk)Shani Louk.

Louk has an Instagram page.

In July, she wrote, “Shankra festival 💗⚡️🦋🌲thank you🙏🏽🙏🏽#shankra #shankrafestival.”

“Life is a blessing,” she wrote with another Instagram post in July. She wrote, “In the nature is more easy for me to connect to my spirit the universe and my god, the sea the trees have they’re own unique singing and so we pray together, God will give you all you ask for💗🙏🏽.”

Other Instagram posts show her in Mexico and with her boyfriend. She recently posted a photo of Croatia.

Her Facebook page says Louk lives in Beit-Shemish, Israel.

According to CNN, other Israelis have also been kidnapped according to videos viewed by their relatives.

3. Shani Louk’s Mother Recorded a Video About Her Daughter, Saying She Was in Israel With a Tourist Group

In a video, Louk’s mother said that her daughter was German and was with a tourist group in Israel.

She said, per

This morning my daughter, Shani Nicole Louk, a German citizen, was kidnapped with a group of tourists in southern Israel by Palestinian Hamas.

We were sent a video in which I could clearly see our daughter unconscious in the car with the Palestinians and them driving around the Gaza Strip.

I ask you to send us any help or any news. Thank you very much.

“The mother of Shani Louk, the woman whose body was seen on video in the back of a pick-up truck driven by Palestinian terrorists to Gaza, released a statement earlier today,” reported the site Visegrád 24, which shared the video on X.

“She confirmed she had seen her daughter on the video & asked the public for help with more information,” the site reported.

Louk’s cousin told the Post that Louk’s family tried to reach her when they heard about the Hamas attack. “We knew she was in the party; she didn’t answer,” Louk’s cousin told the newspaper.

The cousin also told the Post that Louk’s family isn’t giving up hope.

“We have some kind of hope,” the cousin said to the Post. “Hamas is responsible for her and the others.”

People from many different countries have written tributes on Louk’s Instagram page.

“One day you are having fun at the festival, the next day the whole world is watching your lifeless body behind the pickup on the internet… scary and brutal. My only wish is that those who did this will not go unpunished,” wrote one person.

4. Shani Louk Was at a Music Festival ‘for Peace’ When She Was Seized by Militants Who Stormed the Rave & Started Shooting

shani louk

Instagram (Shani Louk)Shani Louk.

According to, Louk “was at a music festival for peace when she was seized by terrorists as they attacked Israel in a surprise assault.”

A person who was there and gave their name as Ortel told Channel 12 in Israel: “They turned off the electricity and suddenly out of nowhere they [militants] come inside with gunfire, opening fire in every direction. Fifty terrorists arrived in vans, dressed in military uniforms.”

People were shot at as they tried to escape, they said: “They fired bursts, and we reached a point where everyone stopped their vehicles and started running. I went into a tree, a bush like this, and they just started spraying people. I saw masses of wounded people thrown around and I’m in a tree and trying to understand what’s going on.”

According to BBC, the music festival was located near the Gaza Strip; BBC described it as a “rave.” reported that a second woman, Noa Argamani, was driven away by Hamas militants on a motorbike from the same music festival.

“We have heard nothing. We are hoping for positive news. It is definitely Shani. She was at a music festival for peace. This is a nightmare for our family,” quoted Weintraub-Louk as saying, of the pickup video.

CNN described how the Hamas militants invaded the music festival. “We didn’t even have any place to hide because we were at [an] open space,” attendee Tal Gibly told CNN. “Everyone got so panicked and started to take their stuff.”

According to Haaretz, hundreds of attendees “were fired upon from all directions, scattering and hiding wherever they could,” and the scene resembled a “battlefield.”

5. Shani Louk Is a Tattoo Artist

shani louk

Instagram (Shani Louk)Shani Louk

On Instagram, Louk linked to a separate page containing pictures of tattoos. reported that Louk is a tattoo artist.

CNN quoted a source in the German Foreign Ministry as saying, “The Federal Foreign Office and the German embassy in Tel Aviv are in close contact with the Israeli authorities in order to clarify whether and to what extent German citizens are affected.”

KOIN 6 News reported that Louk was a former resident of Portland, Oregon, and attended kindergarten at the Portland Jewish Academy in the early 2000s.

READ NEXT: Israeli Woman Noa Argamani Abducted by Hamas Militants & Driven Away on a Motorbike