Several new testimonies by Israeli witnesses to the October 7 Hamas surprise attack on settlements in the vicinity of Gaza add to growing evidence that the Israeli military killed its own citizens as they fought to neutralize Palestinian gunmen, reported The Grayzone.
Israel’s military received orders to shell Israeli homes and even their own bases as they were overwhelmed by Hamas fighters on October 7, according to a recently published investigative report by Max Blumental, the editor-in-chief of The Grayzone, an independent news website.
Israel’s military received orders to shell Israeli homes and even their own bases as they were overwhelmed by Hamas militants on October 7.
“How many Israeli citizens said to have been “burned alive” were actually killed by friendly fire?”
Tuval Escapa, a member of the security team for Kibbutz Be’eri, set up a hotline to coordinate between kibbutz residents and the Israeli army.
He told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz that as desperation began to set in, “the commanders in the field made difficult decisions – including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate Hamas fighters along with the hostages.”
A separate report published in Haaretz noted that the Israeli military was “compelled to request an aerial strike” against its own facility inside the Erez Crossing to Gaza in order to repulse Hamas fighters who had seized control. That base was filled with Israeli Civil Administration officers and soldiers at the time.
These reports indicate that orders came down from the military’s high command to attack homes and other areas inside Israel, even at the cost of many Israeli lives.
An Israeli woman named Yasmin Porat confirmed in an interview with Israel Radio that the military “undoubtedly” killed numerous Israeli noncombatants during gun battles with Hamas militants on October 7. “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages,” she stated, referring to Israeli special forces.
As David Sheen and Ali Abunimah reported in Electronic Intifada, Porat described “very, very heavy crossfire” and Israeli tank shelling, which led to many casualties among Israelis.
While being held by the Hamas gunmen, Porat recalled, “They did not abuse us. We were treated very humanely… No one treated us violently.”
She added, “The objective was to kidnap us to Gaza, not to murder us.”
According to Haaretz, the army was only able to restore control over Be’eri after admittedly “shelling” the homes of Israelis who had been taken captive.
“The price was terrible: at least 112 Be’eri residents were killed,” the paper chronicled. “Others were kidnapped. Eleven 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.”
Much of the shelling in Be’eri was carried out by Israeli tank crews. As a reporter for the Israeli Foreign Ministry-sponsored outlet i24 noted during a visit to Be’eri, “small and quaint homes [were] bombarded or destroyed,” and “well-maintained lawns [were] ripped up by the tracks of an armored vehicle, perhaps a tank.”
Apache attack helicopters also figured heavily in the Israeli military’s response on October 7. Pilots have told Israeli media they scrambled to the battlefield without any intelligence, unable to differentiate between Hamas fighters and Israeli noncombatants, and yet determined to “empty the belly” of their war machines. “I find myself in a dilemma as to what to shoot at, because there are so many of them,” one Apache pilot commented.
Video filmed by Hamas gunmen makes it clear they intentionally shot many Israelis with Kalashnikov rifles on October 7. However, the Israeli government has not been content to rely on verified video evidence.
Instead, it continues to push discredited claims of “beheaded babies” while distributing photographs of “bodies burned beyond recognition” to insist that gunmen sadistically immolated their captives, and even raped some before torching them alive.
The objective behind Tel Aviv’s atrocity exhibition is clear: to paint Hamas as “worse than ISIS” while cultivating support for the Israeli army’s ongoing bombardment of the Gaza Strip, which has left over 7000 dead, including at least 2500 children. While hundreds of wounded children in Gaza have been treated for what a surgeon described as “fourth degree burns” caused by novel weapons, the Western media’s focus remains trained on Israeli citizens claiming they were “burned alive” on October 7.
Yet the mounting evidence of friendly fire orders handed down by Israeli army commanders strongly suggests that at least some of the most jarring images of charred Israeli corpses, Israeli homes reduced to rubble and burned out hulks of vehicles presented to Western media were, in fact, the handiwork of tank crews and helicopter pilots blanketing Israeli territory with shells, cannon fire and Hellfire missiles.
Indeed, it appears that on October 7, Israel’s military resorted to the same tactics it has employed against civilians in Gaza, driving up the death toll of its own citizens with the indiscriminate use of heavy weapons.