News Update


Hamas militants killed families in their homes near Kfar Aza.

A microcosm of the early stages of this battle, Kibbutz Kfar Aza also offers a preview of potential future developments.

The kibbutz, one of the Israeli settlements along the Gaza border, was still the scene of combat as of this morning. Because of this, the bodies of its Israeli citizens who died when Hamas breached the border fence from Gaza early on Saturday morning are only now being collected.

Soldiers who spent the most of the day searching through the rubble for human bodies claimed that there had been a slaughter. It appears likely that a significant portion of the murders took place during the initial assault on Saturday.

According to Davidi Ben Zion, the deputy commander of Unit 71, the skilled squad of paratroopers who led the assault, the Israeli army arrived at the kibbutz after being taken off guard and it took them 12 hours.

“Thank God we saved many lives of many parents and children,” he added. Sadly, some people were burned by Molotov cocktails. They exhibit extreme animal-like aggression.

In the words of Mr. Ben Zion, the Hamas militants who murdered families, including infants, were “just a jihad machine to kill everybody, [people] without weapons, without nothing, just normal citizens that want to take their breakfast and that’s all.”

He claimed that some of the victims had been beheaded.

“It’s horrible to behold, they cut off some of their heads and slaughtered them… therefore we must keep in mind who the enemy is as well as what our role is in the fight for justice, where there is a right side and we need the support of the entire globe.

A second policeman indicated a purple sleeping bag covered in blood. A bloated toe protruded. He claimed that the woman below had been murdered and beheaded in her front lawn. I didn’t request that the police lift the sleeping bag so I could look at her body. A dead Hamas gunman’s swollen, scorched body lay a few yards distant.

Kibbutz Kfar Aza adds to the substantial body of evidence that Hamas fighters have committed war crimes. Like their Israeli neighbors, the neighborhood was caught off guard.

Homes at Kfar Aza kibbutz were targeted
picture caption
The kibbutz’s residences have been totally destroyed.
The kibbutz guard, who patrolled the perimeter and were kibbutz inhabitants with military expertise, served as its first line of defense. They died in the battle against the assailants.

Their corpses were removed from their posts in the kibbutz’s center this morning, and like those of the other Israeli victims, they were wrapped in black plastic, transported on stretchers to a parking lot, and then placed in a line while being collected.

After Hamas took over control of Gaza in 2007, residents of Israeli border settlements prepared for recurring rocket attacks. They accepted the risk as the cost of living in the country in a close-knit community that still possessed remnants of the pioneer spirit of the earliest Zionist colonies.

Despite the threat of Hamas rockets, residents of Kfar Aza and the other Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip had a fair standard of living. A concrete shelter was never farther than a quick step away in the kibbutz’s residences, yards, and open spaces.

There were reinforced safe rooms in every home. Additionally, there were outdoor terraces, barbecues, kid-friendly swings, and plenty of fresh air.

However, nobody in Kfar Aza or anywhere else in Israel had any idea that Hamas would be able to get past Israel’s defenses and kill such a large number of people.

Israelis are horrified and furious, but they are also stunned that the government and military failed in their core obligation to protect the people.

The bodies of the deceased Hamas militants who killed so many of them have been left to decay in the sun, lying exposed in the bushes, ditches, and open fields of the kibbutz where they were slaughtered.

The motorcycles they used to charge into the kibbutz after cutting over the border fence are found close to where they were killed. There is also the debris of a paraglider, which was used to soar past Israel’s defenses; it was thrown off the walkway and onto a flower bed.

Homes at Kfar Aza kibbutz were targeted
picture caption
The BBC was informed by an Israeli soldier that some of the corpses had been beheaded.
The Israelis had to engage in a violent battle to retake Kfar Aza, which was the next experience they shared with other border communities.

Today morning, hundreds of Israeli combat personnel were still stationed outside the kibbutz’s perimeter. We could make out their radio activity.

To start shooting at a structure on the Gaza side, a commander gave the order. Automatic weapon fire started firing into Gaza across the border almost immediately.

While we were in Kfar Aza, the continuous loud thud of airstrikes could be heard coming from Gaza.

Israel is going through a collective trauma as a result of the massacre of so many of its citizens on Saturday.

However, hundreds of civilians are also dying in Gaza. All fighters are required under international humanitarian law to safeguard the lives of civilians.

It is obvious that the Hamas militants violated the laws of war gravely by killing hundreds of civilians. Israelis reject any attempt to draw comparisons between how Hamas murders civilians and how Palestinian civilians perish in Israeli airstrikes.

When he commanded the effort to retake the kibbutz, major general Itai Veruv, who was about to retire, argued that Israel was abiding by its commitments under the laws of war.

“I’m certain we battle for our culture and principles… Despite our aggressiveness and strength, we maintain our moral principles. We identify as Jewish and Israeli.

He vehemently claimed that they had abrogated their responsibilities under the laws of war. However, it is inevitable that if more Palestinian civilians are killed, Israel will come under increasing pressure.

Israeli soldiers keep watch outside the kibbutz Kfar Aza.
Israeli soldiers continue to patrol the settlement’s perimeter, according to the image’s caption.
That is a portion of the view of the future that Kfar Aza offers. The mindset of a soldier I spoke to, who wished to remain anonymous, is similar. His desire to fight was strengthened, like that of so many other Israelis, by what he seen and experienced during the first few days of this conflict.

He claimed that when they got there, “terrorists were everywhere, in chaos.”

I questioned how challenging the fighting was.

“You cannot imagine.”

Have you ever been a soldier and had to perform something similar?

“Not like this.”

What follows is what?

“I don’t know; I just follow their instructions. I’m hoping we’ll enter.

What Gaza? That would be a difficult fight.

“Yes. We are equipped for it.

Near the kibbutz Kfar Aza, Israeli tanks
picture caption
When they arrived, according to Israeli soldiers, there were Hamas fighters everywhere.
The majority of the men were from reserve groups. In the past, serving in the military was seen as an essential component in uniting a potentially divided society.

Israel had severe political divisions, but Davidi Ben Zion, the officer who led the first wave into the battle for the kibbutz and seen the devastation done by Hamas, argued that they were unified now that they were being attacked.

In the Mediterranean’s sweltering October sun, there was a pungent smell of decomposing flesh. Soldiers collecting the victims took care to avoid any potentially boobytrapped explosive munitions as they moved slowly through the house wreckage. On a garden path, a grenade was lying.

They occasionally had to seek shelter while they attempted to recover the dead due to alerts for Hamas rocket fire.

There were several alarms when we departed Kfar Aza.


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