Thursday, December 7, 2023

Israeli investigators say Hamas did not premeditate music festival attack, some killed by friendly fire

Israel's investigation into the Hamas 7 October attack has determined that the group likely did not know about the music festival that was targeted before the attack was launched.

Investigators said that the target for Hamas’ attack seemed to be a Kibbutz, but changed plans once the festival was discovered, Israel’s Haaretz daily newspaper reported on Saturday.

In addition, the investigation found that an Israeli army helicopter that arrived on the scene following the attack was responsible for at least some of the deaths, as the helicopter mistakenly shot festival goers instead of Hamas operatives.

Some 4,400 people had reportedly been at the event when Hamas broke through Israel’s high-security barrier on Saturday. The event had originally been scheduled to end on Friday, according to the report.

Israeli police believe at least 364 people were killed at the Nova music festival on October 7, according to Israeli media. Previously, officials had put the number killed at 270.

How many were killed by the army helicopter remains unknown.

Seventeen of the dead were police officers, Israel’s Channel 12 News has reported, citing the police report. The news outlet said 40 festival goers were kidnapped and taken into Gaza.

It is not clear if the updated number of people killed at the festival affects the total death toll, which officials have said is about 1,200 people killed.

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