(Article by Robert Inlakesh and Sharmine Narwani republished from New.TheCradle.co)
Instead of the wholescale massacre of civilians claimed by Israel, incomplete figures published by the Hebrew newspaper Haaretz show that almost half the Israelis killed that day were in fact combatants - soldiers or police.
In the interim, two weeks of blanket western media reporting that Hamas allegedly killed around 1,400 Israeli civilians during its 7 October military attack has served to inflame emotions and create the climate for Israel’s unconstrained destruction of the Gaza Strip and its civilian population.
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.
Age distribution of the Israelis killed during Hamas' October 7 operation (as of 23 October).
The numbers and proportion of Palestinian civilians and children among those killed by Israeli bombardment over the past two weeks – over 5,791 killed, including 2,360 children and 1,292 women, and more than 18,000 injured - are far higher than any of these Israeli figures from the events of 7 October.
Revisiting the scene
The daring Hamas-led military operation, codenamed Al-Aqsa Flood, unfolded with a dramatic dawn raid at approximately 6:30 AM (Palestine time) on 7 October. This was accompanied by a cacophony of sirens breaking the silence of occupied Jerusalem, signaling the start of what became an extraordinary event in the occupation state’s 75-year history.
As per the spokesperson of Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, around 1,500 Palestinian fighters crossed the formidable Gaza-Israel separation barrier.
However, this breakout was not limited to Hamas forces alone; numerous armed fighters belonging to other factions such as Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) later breached the armistice line, along with some Palestinians unaffiliated with any organized militia.
As it became apparent this was no ordinary resistance operation, hundreds of videos quickly flooded social media, most of which have been viewed by The Cradle, depicting dead Israeli troops and settlers, fierce gunfire battles between various parties, and Israelis being taken captive into Gaza.
These videos were either taken on the phones of Israelis, or were released by Palestinian fighters filming their own operation. It wasn’t until hours later that more gruesome and downright dubious allegations began to surface.
Unsubstantiated allegations of 'Hamas atrocities’
Aviva Klompas, a former speechwriter for the Israeli mission to the UN, was the first Israeli of note to spread the claim that there were reports of “Israeli girls being raped and their bodies dragged through the street.”
She posted this on X at 9:18 PM (Palestine time), on 7 October, although an op-ed Klompa published with Newsweek at 12:28 AM (Palestine time), on 8 October, made no mention of any sexual violence.
Klompas is also the co-founder of Boundless Israel, a “think-action tank” that works “to revitalize Israel education and take bold collective action to combat Jew-hatred.” An “unapologetically Zionist” charitable group that works to promote Israeli narratives on social media.
The one case touted as proof of rape was that of a young German-Israeli woman named Shani Louk, who was filmed face down in the back of a pickup truck and was widely assumed dead.
It was unclear whether the fighters filmed with Louk in the Gaza-bound vehicle were members of Hamas, as they do not sport the uniforms or insignia of the Al-Qassam troops identifiable in other Hamas videos - some even wore casual civilian clothing and sandals.
Later, her mother claimed to have evidence that her daughter was still alive, but had suffered a severe head wound. This rings true with information released by Hamas that indicated Louk was being treated for her injuries at an unspecified Gaza hospital.
Complicating matters further, on the day these rape allegations arose, Israelis would not have had access to this information. Their armed forces had not yet entered many, if not most, of the areas liberated by the resistance and were still engaged in armed clashes with them on multiple fronts.
Nevertheless, these rape claims took on a life of their own, with even US President Joe Biden alleging, during a speech days later, that Israeli women were “raped, assaulted, paraded as trophies” by Hamas fighters. It is important to note that The Forward’s article on 11 October reported that the Israeli military acknowledged they had no evidence of such allegations at that point.
Read more at: New.TheCradle.co