Complied by Malcolm Evans
Two weeks after the Hamas breakout assault on Israel on 7 October, Robert Inlakesh, reporting for The Cradle, says a clearer picture of what happened – who died, and who killed – is now beginning to emerge.
Instead of the wholescale massacre of civilians claimed by Israel, incomplete figures published by the respected Hebrew newspaper Haaretz, show that almost half the Israelis killed that day were in fact combatants – soldiers or police and that Israeli forces were in fact responsible for the deaths of the many civilian Israelis who died. And, says Haaretz, the Israeli government spread false “atrocity stories” to justify the revenge atrocities it planned to commit on Palestinian civilians in Gaza, which is now underway.
For the complete Haaretz account of what happened on October 7th and in its aftermath, including the testimony of an elderly Israeli hostage in which she says she was treated respectfully, click here.
Describing the way Hamas treated the hostages, Mrs Lifshitz said: “They were very friendly towards us. They took care of us. We were given medicine and we 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.”
By contrast Haaretz reports, the destruction that took place at the Kibbutz Be’eri, which resulted in the deaths of many Israeli civilians, could only have been caused by tanks and other heavy artillery, which only the Israeli forces had at their disposal. And as evidence of this, Yasmin Porat, a survivor from Kibbutz Be’eri, told Haaretz “Israeli forces eliminated everyone, including the hostages.”
Accounts of the Israeli death toll have been filtered and shaped to suggest that a wholesale civilian massacre occurred that day, with babies, children, and women the main targets of a terror attack.
Now, detailed statistics on the casualties released by the Israeli daily Haaretz paint a starkly different picture. As of 23 October, the news outlet has released information on 683 Israelis killed during the Hamas-led offensive, including their names and locations of their deaths on 7 October.
Of these, 331 casualties – or 48.4 percent – have been confirmed to be soldiers and police officers, many of them female. Another 13 are described as rescue service members, and the remaining 339 are ostensibly considered to be civilians.
While this list is not comprehensive and only accounts for roughly half of Israel’s stated death toll, almost half of those killed in the melee are clearly identified as Israeli combatants.
There are also, so far, no recorded deaths of children under the age of three, which throws into question the Israeli narrative that babies were targeted by Palestinian resistance fighters. Of the 683 total casualties reported thus far, seven were between the ages of 4 and 7, and nine between the ages of 10 and 17. The remaining 667 casualties appear to be adults.
The Hamas plan
There is little to no credible evidence that Palestinian fighters either planned, or deliberately sought to kill or harm unarmed Israeli civilians on 7 October. From the available footage, we witness them engaging primarily with armed Israeli forces, accounting for the deaths of hundreds of occupation soldiers. As Qassam Brigades’ Spokesman Abu Obeida made clear on 12 October:
“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.”
Abu Obeida and other resistance officials claims that the other key objective of their operation was to take Israeli prisoners that they could exchange for the approximately 5,300 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention centers, many of whom are women and children.