Hamas’ slaughter of innocents ‘like Holocaust’ – but it could have been even worse

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun30,2024


IT was Israel’s 9/11 – the dawn raid by Hamas commandos which led to the massacre of 1,200 innocent men, women and children and the abduction of 250 more.

But the scale of the “Black Friday” attacks on October 7 was planned to be much greater, involving a simultaneous assault on Israel from three fronts – Gaza, Lebanon and Syria – sources have now revealed.

The careful plans hatched by Hamas’ leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, were left in tatters, however, after a series of last-minute decisions.

In Syria, where Russia has invested heavily since 2011, Vladimir Putin tasked national security chief Nikolai Patrushev to make a late night call on October 6 and order the assault cancelled.

In Lebanon Hezbollah secretary general Hassan Nasrallah decided “after much hesitation” not to honour plans which were to see the terror group use Scud missiles to mount strikes deep into the heart of Tel Aviv, choosing instead to focus on a narrow border area.

Hamas’ own objective, sources say, was to drive their fleet of Toyota double-cab Hilux pick-up trucks, bristling with armed militia, from the Gaza border all the way to the city of Hebron, to link up with the West Bank.

But the terrorist organization’s Nukhba commandos – already well under the influence of the stimulant Captagon pills they were ordered to take at 5am that morning – stopped when they accidentally stumbled upon the Nova Festival site near Re’im, where thousands of teenagers and young people had gathered to dance to electronic music.

“You can imagine what they felt when they came across all those young women dancing and having fun,” said the source.

Following a heavy missile barrage from the Gaza strip, Islamist terrorists broke through the border fence in 60 separate locations at 6.20am, while others took to paragliders to mount the morning raids.

They had already cut a swath of death through rural kibbutzim communities near the border – most still bear the scars of that day, in the form of bullet holes and scorch marks – and were travelling down the now infamous route 232, when they reached the Nova site.

More than 360 young revellers at the Festival were killed and many more wounded, while a further 40 were kidnapped and taken hostage.

Some had taken shelter in a row of portable toilets and were cowering in terror when they were systematically gunned down.

Fleeing occupants in cars were gunned down, burnt and beheaded, their heads casually kicked to the middle of the road – one cause of the delay in IDF rescuers arriving.

Survivors have told how heavily-armed militants encircled crowds on three sides like a scythe, systematically gunning them down and forcing them to flee through trees and over fields.

WARNING: This article continues below with descriptions many will find traumatic and distressing

Nearly nine months have passed and Israel remains in a state of trauma.

Today the idyllic rural spot where the Nova festival was held has become a sombre mausoleum, with markers placed by families on the spot where their children were killed as they tried to flee in panic.

On one, the family of 22-year-old Shani Louk wrote: “Time passes but the pain remains. We miss you so much. Thank you for the memories, they will always stay in our hearts.”

Speaking at the site last week first responder Alon Penzel, who has outlined more than 60 verified cases of murder, rape and torture in his book Testimonies Without Boundaries, said: “One Nova survivor told me he ran from one tree to another, and kept running after he got shot, even as his friends fell next to him.

“Then he saw a group of men lying on the ground. Their genitals had been removed and placed into their mouths.”

Many of those who survived the Nova killing fields were shot later as they fled towards Road 232.

“Every account has been verified by police and force 433,” he said.

“We don’t have the privilege of softening these facts. This is what happened,”

Examples of torture and mutilation are numerous.

One dedicated father had taken his wheelchair-bound daughter to the festival because, despite being paralysed, she enjoyed the music. So badly were their bodies burnt that it took forensic examiners weeks to realise that her bones had been buried along with his.

Families in Kibbutzim fared no better, said Alon.

In one, first responders found a four-year-old boy completely burned. In the next room another child, aged just three, was found with a knife in his skull. Next to his lifeless body lay a hammer, with fragments of skull on it.

Elsewhere a man was found with a metal object in his groin, and a completely naked couple discovered lashed to the mattress with metal wires in their stomachs.

In another kibbutz, a young child was found beheaded and with his hands amputated. The absence of any gunshot wounds suggests he was tortured while still alive and conscious.

Alon added: “In terms of the cruelty of Hamas and helplessness of innocent victims who had no way of protecting themselves, I compare these events to the Holocaust 80 years ago.

“The hard decisions people had to take as they fled for their lives are decisions I have only ever read about in Holocaust accounts or Holocaust museums.”

Around 126 hostages remain, though many of these are feared dead.

Some of these, according to recently-released hostages, were young women who found a way of committing suicide rather than continue to be subjected to brutal sexual assaults on a daily basis.

Families of those still in captivity remain angry at beleaguered PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

“The only focus must be to get our hostages back as soon as possible. For every day that passes, more die,” said Gilad Korngold, whose son Tal Shoham. 39, was abducted from Kibbutz Be’eri.

“The war must be stopped now and I don’t care how many Palestinians have to be released from our jails. No price is too high to have our hostages back.”

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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