The Israeli daily Haaretz has revealed that the real target of Hamas attacks is the Gaza Division.
Two weeks after the October 7th Hamas breakout attack on Israel, a more complete picture of the events, including who murdered and who died, is starting to come to light.
Half of the Israelis killed on that day were fighters, either military or police, according to fragmentary numbers released by the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz, contradicting Israel’s claims of a widespread massacre of civilians.
Meanwhile, two weeks of nonstop coverage by the Western media of Hamas’ purported 1,400 Israeli civilian deaths during its military assault on October 7th have worked to stoke tensions and foster an environment that allows Israel to destroy the Gaza Strip and its civilian population without restraint.
Recounts of the number of Israeli deaths have been twisted and filtered to imply that a massive slaughter of civilians took place on that day, with women, children, and infants being the primary targets of a terrorist strike.
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Currently, the Israeli daily Haaretz has provided precise information on the casualties, which presents a very different picture. Information on 683 Israelis murdered in the Hamas-led offensive, including their identities and the places of their deaths on October 7, has been made public by the news outlet as of October 23.
331 of these, or 48.4% of the total, have been identified as military and law enforcement personnel, with many of them being female. The remaining 339 are purportedly regarded to be civilians, while another 13 are listed as rescue service members.
Nearly half of those slain in the melee can be positively identified as Israeli combatants, even if this list is not exhaustive and only represents around half of Israel’s reported death toll.
Furthermore, no child under the age of three has been reported killed to yet, casting doubt on the Israeli premise that Palestinian resistance fighters targeted infants. Nine were between the ages of 10 and 17, and seven of the 683 total casualties documented so far were between the ages of 4 and 7. It appears that the remaining 667 victims are adults.
More than 5,791 Palestinian civilians and children, including 2,360 children and 1,292 women, have been killed by Israeli bombardment over the past two weeks, and more than 18,000 have been injured. These numbers are far higher than any Israeli figures from the events of 7 October.
Revisiting the scene
On October 7, at around 6:30 AM (Palestine time), a stunning dawn attack began the audacious Hamas-led military assault known as the Al-Aqsa Flood. This began what would become a remarkable event in the occupation state’s 75-year history when a cacophony of sirens broke the stillness of occupied Jerusalem.
According to the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed branch of Hamas, around 1,500 Palestinian fighters broke through the strong fence separating Gaza from Israel.
But the breakout was not confined to Hamas forces alone; a number of armed combatants from other groups, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), later broke the armistice, as did several Palestinians who were not part of any formal militia.
Following the realization that this was no typical resistance movement, hundreds of recordings featuring dead Israeli soldiers and settlers, intense gunfights between opposing groups, and Israelis being kidnapped and carried into Gaza swiftly went viral on social media. The majority of these videos have been seen by The Cradle.
These were either released by Palestinian fighters documenting their own operation, or they were taken on Israeli phones. Not until several hours later did new, horrifying, and frankly suspicious allegations start to circulate.
Unsubstantiated allegations of ‘Hamas atrocities’
The first prominent Israeli to circulate the story that there were reports of “Israeli girls being raped and their bodies dragged through the street” was Aviva Klompas, a former speechwriter for the Israeli representation to the UN.
She published this on X on October 7 at 9:18 PM (Palestine time). However, on October 8, at 12:28 AM (Palestine time), Klompa wrote an opinion piece for Newsweek that did not address any sexual assault.
In addition, Klompas is a co-founder of Boundless Israel, a “think-action tank” dedicated to “taking bold collective action to combat Jew-hatred and revitalizing Israel education.” a nonprofit organization that is “unapologetically Zionist” and that aims to advance Israeli narratives on social media.
A young German-Israeli woman named Shani Louk was filmed face down in the back of a pickup truck and was initially thought to be dead. Her case was the only one presented as evidence of rape.
Since the militants in the video with Louk were not wearing the Al-Qassam troops’ uniforms or insignia that can be recognized from other Hamas videos—some of them were even dressed in casual civilian clothes and sandals—it was unclear whether or not they were Hamas members.
Her mother afterward claimed to have proof that her daughter was still alive despite having a serious head wound. This is consistent with information that was made public by Hamas, which stated that Louk was receiving medical attention for her wounds in an undisclosed Gaza hospital.
Even more complicating, Israelis would not have had access to this information on the day these rape charges surfaced. Their military forces were still fighting them on several fronts and had not yet reached many, if any, of the places that the resistance had liberated.
But these accusations of rape gained momentum, to the point where US President Joe Biden said in a speech a few days later that Israeli women had been “raped, assaulted, paraded as trophies” by Hamas terrorists. It is significant to remember that the Israeli military admitted at the time that they lacked proof of the accusations, according to an article published in The Forward on October 11.
Reuters noted that “the military personnel overseeing the identification process didn’t present any forensic evidence in the form of pictures or medical records” when the army later made its own charges of rape, decapitations, and foot amputations. As of right now, no reliable proof of these crimes has been offered.
A number of other ludicrous accusations, including the one about Hamas “beheading 40 babies,” grabbed headlines and the main pages of numerous Western news publications. Even Biden asserted that he had seen “photos that are confirmed to show terrorists beheading babies.” The allegations stem from Israeli reserve settler and soldier David Ben Zion, who has called for the eradication of the West Bank town of Huwara and incited violent riots against Palestinians in the past. These allegations were never substantiated, and the White House eventually acknowledged that Joe Biden had never viewed the aforementioned pictures.
The Hamas plan
There is scant if any reliable information indicating that on October 7, Palestinian fighters planned to kill or injure unarmed Israeli citizens. Based on the film that is currently accessible, we can see that they are mostly involved in combat with the Israeli military, which is why hundreds of occupation soldiers have died. A spokesman for the Qassam Brigades Abu Obeida clarified on October 12:
“Al-Aqsa Flood operation aimed to destroy the Gaza Division (an Israeli army unit on Gaza’s borders) which was attacked at 15 points, followed by attacking 10 further military intervention points. We attacked the Zikim site and several other settlements outside the Gaza Division headquarters.”
According to Abu Obeida and other resistance leaders, one of the main goals of their operation was to capture Israeli prisoners in order to trade them for the 5,300 Palestinian inmates detained in Israeli jails, the majority of whom are women and children.
In an interview following the operation, Hamas Deputy Head of Saleh Al-Arouri’s Political Bureau emphasized: “We have a large and qualitative number and senior officers.” Right now, all we can say is that our captives’ release is almost here.
Each team engages in this game: In the occupied West Bank, Israel has detained and arrested around 1,200 Palestinians since it began its military offensive on Gaza. There have been 38 prisoner exchange agreements between Tel Aviv and the resistance groups to date; nonetheless, Israeli opposition to these agreements is frequently persistent until the very end.
Even as these kinds of testimonies start to surface, there are reports that Israeli authorities have increased the abuse, torture, and even murder of Palestinian detainees under their control. This is in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions, which, ironically, a non-state actor such as Hamas seems to have complied with.
Regarding the events of October 7, there are undoubtedly some films showing potentially defenseless Israelis being killed in their cars or at facility doors so that Palestinian forces might enter.
In addition to videos of fighters firing toward homes and hurling grenades into defended areas, there are also videos of the terrorists participating in shootouts with armed Israeli forces, with unarmed Israelis assuming cover in between. It’s unknown who threw the grenades into the bomb shelters, but eyewitness testimony indicates they were.
An 85-year-old Israeli hostage named Yocheved Lifshitz, who was freed from Gaza on Monday night, criticized the Israeli army’s lack of preparedness in a news conference.
Videos appeared to show Israeli forces firing fire through a crowd of defenseless bystanders onto targets they suspected to be Hamas militants, even at the Israeli “peace rave,” which has been described as the single bloodiest strike performed by Palestinian fighters during their offensive. Additionally, according to ABC News, an Israeli tank was en route to the event location.
An Israeli massacre in Kibbutz Be’eri?
ABC News used images of what seemed to be Israeli-style artillery pieces outside a destroyed house in its story on the events in Be’eri Kibbutz. David Muir, the reporter, reported that in the aftermath, Hamas fighters were discovered wrapped in plastic bags.
Videos of the site also appear to show residences that were hit by weapons that the Hamas fighters did not have. According to Muir, Palestinian fighters were holding roughly fourteen individuals captive in a building.
What happened in Be’eri that day is shown in a totally different light in a Hebrew-language Haaretz piece that was published on October 20. This article is only available in English in an extremely important Mondoweiss article. A resident of a Kibbutz who was absent from his residence and whose spouse was slain in the brawl reveals shocking new information.
“His voice trembles when his partner, who was besieged in her home shelter at the time, comes to mind. According to him, only on Monday night (9 October) and only after the commanders in the field made difficult decisions — including shelling houses with all their occupants inside in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages — did the IDF complete the takeover of the kibbutz. The price was terrible: at least 112 Be’eri people were killed. Others were kidnapped. Yesterday, 11 days after the massacre, the bodies of a mother and her son were discovered in one of the destroyed houses. It is believed that more bodies are still lying in the rubble.”
The destruction in Be’eri can be seen in photos, which supports his testimony. The Israeli army’s powerful weaponry was the only thing that could have damaged residential buildings in this way.
Hamas behaviors: Evidence vs allegations
Yasmin Porat, a survivor from Kibbutz Be’eri, claimed that Israeli soldiers “eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” adding that “there was very, very heavy crossfire” and even mentioning tank shelling in an interview for an Israeli radio program sponsored by public broadcaster Kan.
Porat had been to the Nova rave and, in many interviews with Israeli media, she attested to the humane treatment she had received. She clarified that the Hamas fighters “guarded us” while she was being held captive, assuring her in Hebrew to “Look at me well, we’re not going to kill you.” We want to take you to Gaza. We are not going to kill you. So be calm, you’re not going to die.” She also added the following:
“They give us something to drink here and there. When they see we are nervous they calm us down. It was very frightening but no one treated us violently. Luckily nothing happened to me like what I heard in the media.”
Israeli eyewitnesses and survivors of the carnage are increasingly coming forward to attest that they were treated decently by Palestinian combatants, much to the dismay of certain Israeli leaders and press organizations. The live broadcasting of prisoner Yocheved Lifshitz, who had been freed the day before by Hamas, was criticized on October 24 by Israeli public broadcaster Kan.
Turning back to hold her captor’s hand in her final farewell, the elderly Israeli female victim was seen on camera as she was given over to Red Cross intermediates. Lifshitz further “humanized” her Hamas captors during her two-week experience by sharing details of her everyday routine with the militants in her live broadcast:
“They were very friendly toward us. They took care of us. We were given medicine and were treated. One of the men with us was badly injured in a motorbike accident. Their (Hamas) paramedics looked after his wounds, he was given medicine and antibiotics. The people were friendly. They kept the place very clean. They were very concerned about us.”
More questions than answers
It is crucial to understand that the Israeli army, an active participant in the conflict, provides the majority of the information about the acts of Hamas soldiers in many stories by western media on the ground.
Recent evidence suggests that there is a good chance that Israeli military troops killed hostages on purpose, fired on the wrong targets, or mistook Israelis for Palestinians during firefights. This is especially likely given the extent of the infrastructure destruction. The Israeli army has an incentive to hide instances of friendly fire if they are the only source of material supporting a serious allegation.