Dec. 11: Speaking about the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, a new Israeli witness revealed once again that on the day of the assault, Israeli tanks targeted both their own citizens and Hamas members, leading to the death of 14 Israelis, including children, reports Anadolu Agency.
Israeli media reported earlier that a 12-year-old girl, Liel Hetzroni, was killed in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas on Kibbutz Be’eri in southern Israel.
According to the reports, following Liel’s killing, her grandfather Avia, twin brother Yanai and aunt Ayala were taken to another location, where they were killed along with more than 10 other hostages and then Hamas allegedly set fire to the building.
The incident gained coverage in the Israeli media under the title of “Hamas brutality.”
Witness’ statements contradict Israeli claims
However, after Yasmin Porat, who was in the house where the twins were held hostage, had said that the deaths were caused by Israeli tank fires, Hadas Dagan, the owner of the house where the hostages were held, also broke her silence.
According to Anadolu report, Dagan, in an interview with Channel 12 in Israel, confirmed that the Israeli army attacked the house where Israeli civilians were held by Hamas with tank fires and heavy weapons.
Recounting the horror over the killing of 14 people in the house, including her husband, Dagan talked about the moment Israeli soldiers arrived in front of their house. “At that point, it was clear to me that our role is to be a human shield between our (Israeli) forces that arrived and them (Hamas).”
‘I will never forget the children’s screams’
“I will never forget the children’s screams,” Dagan said, with tears falling down her face, as she described the moment of the twins’ death.
Dagan, recounting the moment when Israeli soldiers began attacking the house with heavy weapons, explained that her husband and she initially remained silent, and then they realized that their neighbors died.
“Suddenly, Adi (her husband) told me, ‘Hadas, Ze’ev is no longer with us.’ I looked over my shoulder and said, ‘Pessi is also not with us’.”
Dagan explained the moment she lost her husband with these words: “A suddenly horrific boom … I couldn’t move my legs. I was not hugging Adi anymore. At that moment, I told him once more that I love him so much. It was clear to me that there was a tank outside. And then came the second boom.
“I felt I was hurt. I looked and felt that so much blood was flowing on me, and I turned my head to see what exactly happened to me, and then I saw a hole in Adi’s main artery. And I pressed my thumb on the artery to block the flow of blood, what else could I do? Then I realized that he wasn’t moving and there was no need to press my thumb on his artery since I was already in a pool of blood.”
Israeli security forces knew there were civilians in house
Another witness, Porat, had previously stated in an interview that the house where she was with Hamas members was surrounded by Israeli security forces, that there were fierce clashes between the parties, and that after a while one of the Hamas members decided to surrender and went out with her.
She said Israeli security forces interrogated her and the Hamas member, and during her interrogation, which lasted three hours, she informed them about the number of civilians in the house, where they were being kept, and the technical details she remembered about the house.
Porat said the clashes continued during the interrogation and said a tank arrived in front of the house at around 7.30 p.m. local time after nearly four hours of crossfire between the Israeli army and Hamas.
“I know that there were two rounds fired from the tank,” Porat said, adding she drew the same conclusion from what Hadas Dagan, the other survivor of the incident and owner of the house where they were held hostage, told her.
Israeli fighter pilot’s revelation
A pilot with the Israeli armed forces had said the military implemented the Hannibal Protocol during the surprise attack by Hamas on Oct. 7.
In an interview with Israeli daily Haaretz, Lt. Col. Nof Erez drew attention to the possibility that Israeli forces responding to the Hamas attack might have implemented the directive.
Erez said that it is unknown whether Israeli warplanes and drones hit hostages while firing on that day.
“The Hannibal Protocol, for which we have been conducting drills for the past 20 years, concerns a single vehicle with hostages in it. You know which part of the fence it goes through, which way on the road it heads to, and even which route it takes,” he said.
“What we’ve seen here is a mass Hannibal. There were many gaps in the fences. There were thousands of people in many different vehicles, both with and without hostages,” he added.
Israeli press reports
Citing police sources, Haaretz had reported that an Israeli helicopter also shot Israeli revelers at the festival while responding to the Hamas attack.
In the assessment of senior Israeli security officials based on interrogation records of Hamas members and a police investigation into the incident, it was stated that Hamas did not have prior knowledge of the music festival, where 364 people were killed.
The report included information from the police investigation, saying that most of the festival attendees managed to escape because the party was stopped half an hour before the first guns were fired.
Another Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, had also reported on the military’s aerial response to the Hamas attack on the festival.
“The infiltrating forces (of Hamas) were instructed to march slowly towards the settlements and army stations, and inside them, and not to run under any circumstances, to make the pilots think they are Israelis. The deception worked for a little while until the Apache pilots understood they needed to sidestep their restrictions.
“When the pilots realized it was difficult to distinguish between terrorists and Israelis, some decided independently at around 9 a.m. to use artillery against the terrorists without obtaining permission from their superiors,” said the Hebrew language daily.
Israeli police accuse national press of irresponsibility
Earlier, the Israeli police department warned the national media outlets over their reports claiming Israeli civilians may have died while Israeli war helicopters were clashing with Hamas during the attack carried out by the Palestinian group from Gaza on Oct. 7.
“Especially during this period, we call on the media to show responsibility in their reporting and base their news only on official sources.”
Separately, the Israeli censor unit, affiliated with the army’s intelligence department, sent a letter to the press on Oct. 26, imposing restrictions on news related to Gaza.
They said all news and visuals concerning the course of the war in the Gaza Strip and activities of the Israeli army should be sent to their censor unit before publication.
In footage broadcast by Channel 12 on Nov. 11, an Israeli journalist reporting from Barzilai Hospital in the city of Ashkelon, located in the southern part of Israel, said that due to the censorship announced after Oct. 7, he could not provide information on the condition of the soldiers brought there.
“We must say that all the information we conveyed in front of Barzilai Hospital has been censored by the Israeli army. We can say that wounded soldiers have arrived here, but we are not allowed to speak about them until permission is granted,” the reporter said.