According to an RT article on November 6, Israeli soldiers were suspected of the massacre as Zaka Search and Rescue reported that they had taken 260 dead out of the event venue of the festival. Meanwhile, the recently released video provided an aerial view of the charred vehicles removed from the festival grounds and arranged in a makeshift junkyard on a dirt parking lot.
The Nova festival was held near Kibbutz Beeri, about five kilometers from the wall dividing Gaza. When Palestinian resistance fighters emerged from Gaza at 6:30 a.m., they attacked military bases and settlements, and this was one of their first objectives. The Palestinian terrorists captured some 240 Israelis during the attack, including foreigners, settlers and troops. Israel maintained that in the hours following the Hamas strike, civilian Palestinian looters and Hamas combatants rushed across the unguarded Gaza border fence, slaughtering them.
The video seemed to corroborate earlier claims that Israeli pilots operating Apache helicopters opened fire on Israelis and Hamas fighters in response to the attacks. According to reports in Yedioth Ahronoth published on October 15, the first helicopters touched down in the Gaza Strip around one hour after hostilities started.
Israel’s military released drone footage showing hundreds of scorched and damaged cars moved from the Nova music festival.
The festival, near Kibbutz Be’eri, only five kilometers away from Gaza, was one of Hamas’ first targets when the militants broke into Israel on October 7 pic.twitter.com/gMTPr9iT4q
— RT (@RT_com) November 6, 2023
The Hebrew newspaper reported that the purpose of the armed Zik drones and combat helicopters was to stop the influx of Hamas fighters and looters into Israeli territory via the openings in the Gaza border fence. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Israeli troops had trapped Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar in a bunker during this time. However, it was difficult as the pilots were unable to differentiate Israelis from Palestinian looters disguised as civilians and Hamas combatants.
"This deception worked for a considerable time until the Apaches had to skip all the restrictions. It was only around 9:00 a.m. that some of them began to spray the terrorists with the cannons on their own, without authorization from superiors," the news outlet noted. "The rate of fire against the thousands of terrorists was tremendous at first, and only at a certain point did the pilots begin to slow down the attacks and carefully select the target." But despite the confusion, 28 combat helicopters still maxed out their ammunition, including Hellfire missiles and hundreds of 30 mm cannon shells.
An hour later, the 190 squadron commander demanded the other pilots "to shoot at everything they see in the fenced area," which divided Israel from Gaza. The same commander also opened fire near houses in a kibbutz in support of an officer from the Sinai division who had parachuted into battle against Hamas militants and assaulted an Israeli military station that had besieged soldiers inside to aid the Israeli army in regaining it from Hamas. About 300 targets, mostly in Israeli territory, were struck by helicopters and fighter jets in the first four hours of combat, as per their air force.
Israeli military spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari hinted at Israel's response to the Hamas attack and the prisoner situation by explaining how the Israeli army used both airstrikes and ground forces to deal with "hostage situations." He added that there was "no community in southern Israel where we do not have forces, in all the towns." Hagari further boasted there have been strikes by Israel's air force in "several locations," resulting in hundreds of deaths, including many terrorists. For him, the primary goal was to eliminate everyone who had infiltrated Israel and was attempting to return to the Gaza Strip. "We will launch an air strike first, followed by a heavy ground strike," he warned.
Yasmin Porat, a survivor of the Hamas attack on the Beeri on October 7, told an Israeli official radio broadcaster that the Israeli security forces had also killed civilians. "They eliminated everyone, including the hostages," the mother of three said. "There was very, very heavy crossfire."
Meanwhile, an article in the liberal Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz described how Israeli commander Brigadier General Avi Rosenfeld made the difficult choice of calling in airstrikes on his base as Hamas fighters overran it, which captured and murdered many of his own soldiers inside. Rosenfeld was trapped in the division's underground war bunker. He was left with only a few male and female soldiers while outside, many of the soldiers were killed or injured.
Chinese journalist Stephanie Freid from CGTN visited Sderot, where a similar incident happened a week before. Sderot "was a city taken over by Hamas fighters," the reporter said. The debris of the police station served as evidence of the violence. When Israeli soldiers opened fire on the station with a tank, it appeared that the Hamas fighters and their police hostages were killed. "This place was taken over. Up to twenty persons, including inmates housed at the station, perished here," she added. (Related: Israel has already killed 88 United Nations officials in Gaza.)