Some insiders believe that Israeli fire was responsible for a portion of the Israeli body count that day, including a retired Israeli army major. The veteran, who goes by the name “Major Graeme,” was born in South Africa but settled in Israel at 18 and served in its army for 29 years, participating in numerous major operations.
In a video posted online, he theorized that Israelis who were being taken hostage by Hamas were “possibly killed by Israeli airstrikes when the Israeli Air Force attacked vehicles that were returning into Gaza.”
This is backed up by an Israeli police source, who told Haaretz that an Israeli military helicopter shot some civilians who attended the Supernova rave where 364 people died that day.
The paper, which did not specify how many Israelis died at the hands of their own military, admitted: “According to a police source, the investigation also shows that an IDF combat helicopter that arrived to the scene and fired at terrorists there apparently also hit some festival participants.”
This was believed to be the first direct acknowledgement by Israel that it killed some of its own civilians.
One eyewitness told Israeli broadcaster Kan that she saw Israelis die at the hands of their own troops. Yasmin Porat, who survived the incident at Kibbutz Be’eri, claimed that numerous Israeli civilians died after Israeli forces fired heavy weapons and tank shells at the small house on the kibbutz where Hamas fighters were holding them. She said that they had been treating them “humanely” prior to that and planned to take them as hostages rather than kill them.
In a recent interview on MSNBC, a spokesperson for the Israeli government, Mark Regev, inadvertently admitted that some carelessness took place that day, saying that Israeli forces burned hundreds of individuals to death in indiscriminate fire without distinguishing Hamas fighters from Israeli civilians.
He was trying to make the point that Israel admitted its mistake when it revised its death toll downward from the figure of 1,400 that was repeated across the media since the day of the attack to 1,200, but his statement revealed how much trouble they had setting terrorists apart from Israeli civilians.
He told host Mehdi Hasan: “We originally said, in the atrocious Hamas attack upon our people on October 7th, we had the number at 1,400 casualties and now we’ve revised that down to 1,200 because we understood that we’d overestimated, we made a mistake. There were actually bodies that were so badly burnt we thought they were ours, in the end apparently they were Hamas terrorists.”
This can be interpreted as an admission that Israel’s bombardment of frontier settlements in Gaza was so indiscriminate that it took out numerous Israelis along with the Hamas terrorists it intended to kill.
Israel’s air force has said it deployed dozens of attack helicopters that fired significant numbers of missiles and shells on October 7 despite the pilots being unable to distinguish terrorists from civilians in some cases.
A report by the Israeli publication Ynet quoted one helicopter squadron leader as saying that “it was very difficult to distinguish between terrorists and [Israeli] soldiers or civilians” but that he nevertheless directed his pilots “to shoot at everything they see in the area of the fence” with Gaza.
Although the idea was to prevent terrorists from entering into Israel through holes in the fence, the fact remains that Hamas fighters were returning to Gaza with Israeli hostages, and shooting at “everything” would include Israeli civilians.
“With all the difficulty and the pain that a decision like that entails, the Israeli army is continuing as if there are no hostages,” Major Graeme said.
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