Hamas Fighters Unaware of Music Festival, Attacked Spontaneously, Israeli Report States. Israeli media, citing police and security sources, reported that the Hamas fighters who attacked a music festival in Israel on October 7, resulting in hundreds of casualties, likely did not have prior knowledge of the event.
According to the initial Israeli police report obtained by Channel 12, the Palestinian fighters had originally planned to target nearby kibbutz Re’im and other villages near the Gaza border. They discovered the music festival through drones and aerial reconnaissance as they parachuted into Israel.
Approximately 4,400 people were at the event when Hamas breached Israel’s high-security barrier, attacking military posts and villages in southern Israel, causing 1,200 casualties, mainly civilians, according to Israeli authorities.
A growing assessment in Israel’s security establishment, based on the police investigation and interrogations of captured Hamas members, suggests that the group did not intend to target the festival. Although police found maps of the planned targets on the bodies of killed Hamas members, none were of the festival location.
Additionally, Hamas militants approached the event from a nearby highway, not from the border. The festival, originally scheduled for Thursday and Friday, had Saturday added to the program only on the Tuesday of that week.
Most festival-goers had left by the time Hamas attacked, as the police investigation revealed that a decision to disperse the event was made four minutes after the rocket attack. The report also mentioned that an Israeli military helicopter, dispatched from the Ramat David base, fired at the assailants but inadvertently hit some festival attendees. The revised death toll from the attack is 364, including 17 police officers, up from the initial count of 270, with 40 festival-goers reported kidnapped.
In response to the Hamas attacks, Israel launched a ground and air assault on the Gaza Strip, resulting in over 12,000 Palestinian casualties, including 5,000 children, according to Palestinian health authorities. The Gaza Strip faces widespread devastation, with a total blockade by Israel leaving residents with critical shortages of food, water, fuel, and medical supplies.