New footage corroborates previous reports that say the Israeli military is responsible for many of the Israeli casualties during the first day of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood
(Photo Credit: X)
The Israeli military has released drone footage showing hundreds of scorched and damaged cars moved from the Nova music festival, providing further evidence that Israeli forces likely killed many of their own during the start of Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on 7 October, RT reported on 6 November.
The Nova festival took place near Kibbutz Beeri, only five kilometers away from the Gaza separation wall. It was one of the first targets hit by Palestinian resistance fighters when they broke out of Gaza, attacking military bases and settlements from 6:30 am.
During the attack, the Palestinian fighters managed to take some 240 Israelis captive, including soldiers, settlers, and foreigners.
Israeli rescue service Zaka claims they removed 260 bodies from the festival site. Israel claims they were massacred by Hamas fighters and civilian Palestinian looters who flooded across the open Gaza border fence in the hours after the Hamas attack.
However, the footage appears to confirm previous reports in Israeli media that Israeli pilots flying Apache helicopters responded to the attacks by opening fire on both Hamas fighters and Israelis.
A 15 October report in Yedioth Ahronoth explained that the first helicopters arrived in the Gaza Strip about an hour after the fighting began.
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The Hebrew language newspaper reports that the mission of the combat helicopters and the armed Zik drones was to stop the flow of Hamas fighters and looters that poured into Israeli territory through the gaps in the Gaza border fence.
This was complicated by the difficulty the pilots had in distinguishing between Hamas fighters, Palestinian looters dressed in civilian clothing, and Israelis.
The paper notes, “This deception worked for a considerable time until the Apaches had to skip all the restrictions. It was only around 9:00 a.m. that some of them began to spray the terrorists with the cannons on their own, without authorization from superiors.”
“The rate of fire against the thousands of terrorists was tremendous at first, and only at a certain point did the pilots begin to slow down the attacks and carefully select the target,” the paper added.
Despite the confusion, twenty-eight Israeli combat helicopters fired all of the ammunition they were holding, including hundreds of 30 mm cannon shells and Hellfire missiles, during the day.
After landing his Apache to reload ammunition at roughly 10:00 am, the commander of the 190 squadron instructed the other pilots “to shoot at everything they see in the fence area,” separating Israel from Gaza.
The same commander at one point attacked an Israeli military post with besieged soldiers inside to help the Israeli army recapture it from Hamas and opened fire near houses in a kibbutz in support of an officer from the Sinai division who had parachuted into battle Hamas militants.
According to the air force, in the first four hours from the start of the fighting, helicopters and fighter jets attacked about 300 targets, most of them in Israeli territory.
Israel’s response to the Hamas attack and the problem of the captives was alluded to in comments on 7 October from Israeli military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari. He described how the Israeli army was dealing with “hostage situations” using both air strikes and ground forces.
Hagari said the military was “fighting in 22 locations,” adding there was “no community in southern Israel where we do not have forces, in all the towns.”
“There are special forces there with senior commanders, and live firefights are going on there,” he said.
Israel’s air force had carried out strikes in “several locations,” Hagari said, adding there were “hundreds of deaths, including many terrorists.”
The main effort was to “eliminate” all “those who infiltrated Israel and are trying to return to the Gaza Strip,” he said. “First of all, we will strike from the air, and then also with heavy ground means,” he added.
Responding to hostage situations with such overwhelming firepower meant that the safety of the hostages themselves was not a priority.
The Guardian reported that Israel’s influential finance minister and settler leader, Bezalel Smotrich, urged the Israeli army to “hit Hamas brutally and not take the matter of the captives into significant consideration” during a cabinet meeting late on 7 October as the Hamas attack was still underway.
Yasmin Porat, who survived the Hamas assault on the Be’eri kibbutz near Gaza on 7 October, stated in a radio interview on Israeli state broadcaster Kan that Israeli civilians were killed by their security forces as well.
“They eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” the mother of three told Kan. “There was very, very heavy crossfire.”
As noted by Mondoweiss, the liberal Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz published a lengthy article on 13 October describing how an Israeli commander, Brigadier General Avi Rosenfeld of the Gaza division, made the difficult choice of calling in airstrikes on his own base as Hamas fighters overran it, capturing and killing many of the soldiers inside.
Barricaded in the division’s subterranean war room with a handful of male and female soldiers, Rosenfeld tried “desperately to rescue and organize the sector under attack. Many of the soldiers, most of them not combat personnel, were killed or wounded outside. The division was compelled to request an aerial strike against the base itself in order to repulse the terrorists.”
A similar instance occurred in Sderot, a city of 30,000 located 12 kilometers from the Gaza border, during the Hamas attack on 7 October.
Journalist Stephanie Freid of China’s CGTN visited Sderot a week later. She reported that Sderot “was a city taken over by Hamas fighters. A lot of people were killed, and there were firefights. And proof of that is in the wreckage here of the police station. It was taken over here. Up to 20 people here were killed, including prisoners that were being held at the station.”
The Hamas fighters and their police captives were apparently killed when Israeli forces opened fire on the station with a tank.
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