Site icon Middle East Monitor

Report: 7 October testimonies strike major blow to Israeli narrative

9 months ago

Smoke rises in Gaza which is seen from the Sderot city as the Israeli airstrikes continue in Sderot, Israel on November 02, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf/Anadolu Agency]

New first-hand accounts from witnesses of Israel’s clashes with Hamas militants on 7 October suggest that, in their desperation to contain the surprise incursion, Israeli troops indiscriminately fired on their own citizens with heavy weaponry, resulting in potentially scores of Israeli deaths from so-called “friendly fire”.

Testimonies of eye witnesses and Israeli sources compiled by The Grayzone, contradicts the Israeli account of the events that unfolded on 7 October. The Occupation State has refused to reveal full details of the atrocities it claims to have been carried out by Hamas and, thus far, has only released selective information about the attack.

Unverified claims circulated by Israel that Hamas militants beheaded 40 babies on 7 October were widely rejected as propaganda which, critics argue, was designed to garner sympathy for Israel to carry out collective punishment of Gaza’s 2.2 million. However, a closer examination of events by The Grayzone tells a different story: one in which the Israeli military itself bears responsibility for numerous civilian deaths. The emerging details not only contradict the Israeli government’s version of events, but indicate that, in the chaos of battle, reckless Israeli fire likely led to significant casualties among the Israeli population.

According to Tuval Escapa, the security coordinator at Kibbutz Be’eri who set up a hotline between residents and the army,

Israeli commanders made “difficult decisions” including “shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages

This was confirmed by Israeli civilian, Yasmin Porat, who survived a hostage standoff in Be’eri. She stated that, during intense clashes, Israeli Special Forces “undoubtedly” killed all remaining hostages, along with two surrendering Hamas militants using tank shells and frenzied gunfire.

Porat recalled how Hamas militants had treated hostages “very humanely”, aiming only to take them back to Gaza, before Israeli forces stormed the building. She witnessed her partner still alive on the ground before he was gunned down, along with other hostages in the chaotic shooting. Other videos from inside kibbutzes are said to show corpses covered in rubble, likely from tank shells fired directly into homes by the Israeli army.

Gaza: Israel destroyed, damaged scores of mosques, churches, schools 

More evidence comes from witness Danielle Rachiel, who described nearly being killed after escaping from the Hamas attack on the Nova music festival. As she drove to safety, Israeli security forces shot directly at her vehicle until she shouted in Hebrew to identify herself as Israeli.

The Israeli news outlet, Yedioth Aharanoth, is reported saying that “the pilots realised that there was tremendous difficulty in distinguishing within the occupied outposts and settlements who was a terrorist and who was a soldier or civilian … 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 targets.”

Meanwhile, footage from inside kibbutzes shows absolute devastation resembling Israel’s repeated bombardment of Gaza over the years. Apache helicopter pilots have admitted to firing continuously without intelligence on targets, while tank crews were ordered to shell homes,  regardless of Israeli hostages potentially inside.

Bodies of Israelis discovered below the rubble of a home destroyed by a powerful explosive blast are said to have been caused by tank shells. Israeli security forces also opened fire on fleeing Israelis whom they mistook for Hamas gunmen.

Critics now speculate that some of the Israeli government’s most horrific photos of charred corpses and “bodies burned beyond recognition” may actually depict Israeli-inflicted casualties. One suspicious image showed a dumpster full of burned bodies, which some suggest may have been dead Hamas fighters disposed of in this manner. Israeli officials have been using the images of charred bodies to garner international sympathy but, as the report indicates, it is more likely that the horrific images are of Hamas fighters.

The testimonies together indicate that, in the heat of battle, Israeli troops likely resorted to firing indiscriminately into civilian areas and homes, resulting in an untold number of preventable Israeli deaths.

Exit mobile version