Hamas targeted elementary schools and a youth center “to kill as many people as possible” during the Oct. 7 terrorist rampage in the western Negev, documents obtained by NBC News show.
Terrorists were also given instructions to capture hostages and take them quickly across the border to the Gaza Strip.
The Oct. 7 terrorist assault by Hamas in southern Israel claimed the lives of more than 1,300 people and left more than 3,500 wounded. As many as 150 hostages were taken back to Gaza.
One page outlined a plan for the attack on Kibbutz Sa’ad, calling on “Combat Unit 1” to “contain the new Da’at school” while “Combat Unit 2” was ordered to “collect hostages” and “search the Bnei Akiva youth center” and “search the old Da’at school.”
Other plans in the documents included instructions to “kill as many as possible” and to “capture hostages.”
The documents contained maps for Sa’ad and for four additional kibbutzim: Kfar Aza, Nahal Oz and Alumim.
‘Never seen this kind of detailed planning’
Israeli officials said that they are analyzing all of the documents, which show that Hamas had been systemically gathering intelligence on each kibbutz that they raided with the intention of targeting women and children.
Other documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal showed that a Hamas hit squad that targeted Alumim was directed to “achieve the highest level of human losses” and then take captives.
“The dental office, the supermarket, the dining hall,” an Israel Defense Forces source told NBC News. “The level of specificity would cause anyone in the intelligence field’s jaw to drop.”
Another IDF official told NBC News that he had “never seen this kind of detailed planning” for a mass terrorist attack.
Another document found on a vehicle used in the coordinated massacre showed that the terrorists were instructed to murder civilians and take captives, according to a report by Israel’s Kan News.
The document was recovered at Kibbutz Re’im, near where at least 260 people were killed and an unknown number of others taken captive back to Gaza during a music festival.
Code words included “black” in Arab to slaughter all of the captives and “bus” to take the captives back to Gaza to be used as human shields. Other instructions were not coded such as plans to burn homes, cars and agricultural fields.
“Hamas’s strategy behind this attack was very clear: They were on a mission to hurt and murder as many innocent civilians as possible,” Tal Heinrich, a spokeswoman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told The Wall Street Journal, in reference to “maps and documents found on the bodies of Hamas terrorists.”
“I saw murdered babies. I saw murdered children. I saw mothers and children murdered together,” Yossi Landau, a commander of Israeli emergency response organization ZAKA, told NBC News.