Palo Alto-born Danielle Waldman, 24, was killed alongside her boyfriend as the Hamas militant group attacked the Supernova music festival in Israel on Oct. 7, according to her father, semiconductor and computer networking executive Eyal Waldman
The surprise Hamas attack resulted in 1,400 deaths of Israelis, according to government sources. Meanwhile, 5,700 Gazans have been killed by Israeli air strikes in the aftermath of the killings in Israel, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Danielle and her boyfriend attended the all-night rave near Kibbutz Re’im near the Gaza border, when Hamas militants breached the border on motorcycles and paragliders, ambushing terrified partiers with machine guns and grenades.
Danielle moved to Israel with her family at age 4 and met her Israeli native boyfriend Noam Shay when both were students and in the army, her father told NBC.
Initially, the couple sent a text to her father saying they were okay, but after about 35 minutes he received another emergency accident call, Waldman told NBC. He would go on to fly into the danger zone to find his daughter’s car deserted with bullet holes nearby the music festival.
“Danielle was born in Palo Alto, California,” he told NBC. “It’s a heartbreaking devastation, this is not a sorrow. This is something you understand will be with you for the rest of your life.”
Describing his daughter, Waldman characterized her as a free-spirit with a zest for life.
“Danielle loved to dance,” he told NBC. “She danced in every opportunity that she could and Noam joined her. Danielle was the light of the family, Danielle was smiling and was loved by everybody. Danielle loved everything.”
Danielle’s father Eyal Waldman is an Israeli tech executive who co-founded Mellanox, a maker of high-speed servers and storage-switching solutions that allow massive amounts of data to move within and between computers. US gaming and computer graphics giant Nvidia bought Mellanox for $7 billion in 2020.
He previously was co-founder of Santa Clara-based Galileo Technology, which was purchased by Marvell Semiconductor.
Waldman is known for using the workforce to bridge hostilities between Palestinians and Israelis by hiring people from both nations at Mellanox. In a recent interview with the venture capitalist company Aleph, Waldman talked about how the workforce could foster positive relations between the two peoples.
“Once you have the same incentive, to make money, and if you can collaborate from both sides to make money together, then you can expand this to cultural things,” Waldman said in the interview. “When they (Palestinians and Israelis) started working together, there was positive friction, about kids and sports.”