A group of Israelis have been accused of theft of jewellery and other items from Israelis killed at a music festival during the 7 October operation by Palestinian Resistance group, Hamas, in areas surrounding the besieged Gaza Strip.
According to the Israeli news outlet, News1, cousins Meir Hajaj and Golani Garbi – along with a third person whose identity has not been revealed – arrived at a police checkpoint near the settlement of Moshav Gilat on the afternoon of 8 October, when a police officer refused them entry into the areas surrounding Gaza due to the ongoing Hamas operation and the Israeli counter-operation.
The three men reportedly claimed that they wanted to help the Israeli victims, so the officer suggested that they enter from a different direction, which they managed to do, despite it being a closed military area. There, they then patrolled and stole jewellery worth NIS 20,000 ($5,207); a toolbox, hammer, saw and leaf blower worth NIS 6,000 ($1,562); and additional tools worth NIS 800 ($208). Overall, they stole an estimated total of NIS 60,000 ($15,621) from the deceased Israelis.
The indictment against the men was reportedly submitted to the Beer Sheva Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, 7 October, with the offences levelled against them consisting of entering a closed military area and theft under aggravated circumstances, the latter of which could result in a maximum penalty of four years in prison.
Furthermore, police discovered Hajaj’s possession of 86 grams of narcotics during a search of his home, potentially presenting a case of an increased sentence. According to reports, the two men are not yet in custody but the Prosecutor’s office wants to arrest them until the end of the proceedings.
A month after the Hamas operation and the clashes in areas surrounding the besieged Gaza Strip, new details have come to light regarding the killing of Israelis in the kibbutzim and towns in those areas, as well as the music festival nearby, with footage circulating online seeming to show Israeli Forces firing at fleeing Israelis from apache helicopters. Such revelations have called into question accusation of Hamas operatives’ and fighters’ roles in the killing of Israeli civilians.