KIBBUTZ BE’ERI—Israel and a significant portion of the international community have been deeply affected by the events of Saturday, Oct. 7, when Hamas carried out a coordinated land, air and sea attack on multiple communities on the Israeli side of the Gaza border.
This heinous act resulted in the loss of more than 1,400 lives, with thousands sustaining injuries and at least 222 persons, including women, children, the elderly and soldiers, being taken captive.
Disturbing footage of the massacre, captured on Hamas terrorists’ body cameras, has been circulated widely. There is recorded evidence of Hamas terrorists, apprehended by Israeli security forces, confessing to murder, acts of violence and sexual assault against civilians.
Despite the undeniable evidence, there are those who, like Holocaust deniers, choose to dispute the atrocities committed by Hamas. To address these concerns, Israel’s Government Press Office took the initiative on Monday to convene a gathering of 200 journalists, primarily representing foreign media outlets. The GPO presented a 43-minute comprehensive compilation of videos that unequivocally demonstrate the extent of Hamas’s cruelty.
Ten years old
In one video footage sequence, recorded from both indoor and outdoor surveillance cameras in a home, a distressing scene unfolds. A father is seen hurriedly guiding his two sons, who appear to be about 10 years old, through their living room towards an outdoor shelter. They make their way into the shelter, only to be met with horror: a terrorist hurls a grenade, killing the father.
The two boys, injured and in shock and anguish, emerge from the shelter, returning to their home. They are crying in fear and agony, fully aware that they have lost their beloved father.
They sit down, one on the living room couch and the other at the dining room table, severely wounded and bleeding. One of the boys laments that he can only see through one eye, while the other boy, in tears, asks, “Why are we still alive?”
A terrorist nonchalantly enters the house, paying little attention to the desperate boys, and calmly opens the refrigerator. He retrieves a bottle of cola, takes a sip, and walks out.
Subsequently, we witness the two boys leaving the house, seeking refuge, just as their mother returns in search of them. She finds her husband’s lifeless body at the entrance to the shelter. Overwhelmed by grief, she collapses. Kibbutz security personnel swiftly usher her indoors as the peril persists with Hamas terrorists still roaming the area.
In a separate audio clip, a terrorist calls his parents. He is heard explaining that he is calling from the phone of a woman he just killed in Kibbutz Mefalsim on the Gaza border. “I killed 10 Jews with my bare hands!” he exclaims. “Now, are you proud of me, father?” The joyful parents shower blessings upon their terrorist son.
Numerous clips taken from terrorist bodycams, dashcams, victims or first responders, showed victims who had been bound, shot and burned. One video showed a terrorist trying to kill a foreign worker with a hoe to the neck. Another video showed first responders pouring water on a smoldering corpse. Other videos showed families murdered in their bedrooms.
Footage from the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Re’im showed groups of corpses smoldering. One girl lay dead, her pants pulled down. According to at least one report, some male corpses had their genitals cut off and put in their mouths.
Other videos show terrorists rampaging through the city of Sderot and several kibbutzim in the area, murdering as they walk and causing destruction everywhere.
Sderot was one of the first communities to come under attack by Hamas terrorists who rampaged through it shortly after dawn on Oct. 7.
The city is now mostly quiet save for the constant Red Alert sirens as Hamas in Gaza continues to rain rockets on it. The 30,000 residents have mostly been evacuated. One can still see cars with bullet holes, buildings damaged by heavy gunfire. The place where the Sderot police station once stood is now a ruin. It was razed to the ground in the fighting after terrorists killed 20 police officers there and barricaded themselves inside.
Throughout the city, there are signs of battle. Brick sidewalks are torn up and street signs and advertising posters are riddled with bullet holes. A parked truck has a gaping black hole in the back after being hit with an RPG missile. A minivan with shattered windows sits on the side of the road, silent witness to the murders that took place when terrorists attacked a group of pensioners on their way to a vacation. They fled the van to enter a nearby shelter only to find the door was locked. They were all murdered on the spot.
Bound and burned
Farther south lies Kibbutz Kfar Aza. Here, terrorists broke through the fence surrounding the kibbutz and attacked the first rows of houses before moving farther inside and slaughtering 70 men, women and children. Many of the victims were found with their hands tied. The bodies of some of the terrorists still lie on the ground where they were killed. One terrorist is prone on the living room floor of a family home, a rope attached to his leg after an Israeli bomb squad had checked to see if he was wearing explosives.
The smell of smoke and charred houses mixes with the stench of the terrorists’ decaying corpses. It is impossible to walk around without treading on dried blood from both victims and terrorists as well as the burned remains of the contents of many of the houses.
Some of the terrorists’ weaponry remains on the ground after sappers had checked them. Fire-damaged Kalashnikov assault rifles lie near bullet magazines the terrorists brought with them in black knapsacks with pockets and tabs to hold ammunition and supplies. They also brought thick, black zip ties to take hostages.
The firefights and explosions that took place in the kibbutz are evident everywhere. Black explosion scars and bullet holes are imprinted on houses and buildings. Belongings of victims lie strewn on the grass and pathways after being blown out of the houses by the grenades the terrorists tossed inside. Bullet holes cover entire walls and ceilings, with some corners untouched; mugs are still perched on shelves where they had been placed by their dead owners.
In one house, two girls were found bound and burned. In another house, an entire family of five was butchered. Other houses were burned to the ground. At least one house was blown apart by an explosion.
On the main road, the remains of one of the terrorist hang gliders lie smashed on the ground, next to a Toyota truck the terrorists used to drive into the kibbutz.
Like Kfar Aza, Kibbutz Be’eri was one of the hardest-hit areas. Here, Hamas terrorists also committed unimaginable atrocities against the civilians caught by surprise. Thirty percent—300 of the 1,000 or so inhabitants—were murdered or taken hostage by the terrorists.
Yossi Landau is the commander of the southern region for ZAKA, a rescue and recovery organization. He described what he saw during the first few days when he and other ZAKA volunteers were called in to remove the bodies from multiple locations where they had been found. Entire families were killed together, babies were shot, beheaded and burned. Women were tied up and raped; at least one had her breast cut off. The terrorists tortured their victims, many of them children.
Some of the terrorists were carrying manuals with explicit instructions on what to do with hostages, and they had precise maps containing the smallest details. The level of intelligence the terrorists had is astounding and it is clear that many of the thousands of workers from Gaza Israel allowed in for humanitarian purposes over the last few years were gathering information for the massacre.
Today, Be’eri appears serene in some areas, but many parts of the kibbutz are completely destroyed. Smashed cars lie on the side of the road, the stench of death still permeates some spots, burned houses stand ruin, bearing witness to what occurred just a few weeks ago.
Many other houses stand empty; bullet holes on the walls and personal belongings strewn about inside after Palestinian civilians came to loot. Now, silence. No one is home. House after house remains empty. The doors are open and the lights are on for security. The inhabitants have been evacuated. The terrorists are dead or arrested.
The Jewish people has experienced many pogroms and massacres throughout the centuries, including the 1903 Kishinev pogrom, the 1929 Hebron riots, and the 1941 Farhud in Iraq.
But this time is different. This time, the Jewish people has a state and the military might to fight back.