By Dyab Abou Jahjah
First some general context:
Gaza is an open-air prison where Palestinians have been collectively incarcerated for 17 years.
Every two years or so, Israel commits mass slaughter in Gaza. Even when Palestinians choose to protest non-violently against the blockade.
The majority of Gaza's residents (86%) are refugees ethnically cleansed by Israel from towns around the Gaza Strip. See here.
Jewish settlers now live in these towns amid green oases, overlooking the walls of the open-air Gaza prison.
This is part of Israel's ongoing colonisation and military occupation of Palestine, which has now continued for more than 75 years.
To have an idea, see here
So what did really happen on the 7th of October 2023?
1- On October 7, fighters attacked several of Israel's military positions near the prison wall around Gaza. Most of these fighters were born during the blockade and are children or grandchildren of refugees originally from the area. Although they are members of Hamas, this is secondary; at their core, they are Palestinians who oppose the occupation of their land.
2- To the surprise of these fighters, they were able to quickly eliminate all military positions, killing or routing Israeli soldiers.
3- At the same time, a number of fighters were dropped behind the lines via Gliders. The Gliders were meant to attack Israeli positions from behind. The resistance was unaware of an ongoing party. Present Israeli policemen took the fighters under fire, resulting in a gunfight. Many civilians at the festival were caught in the crossfire. Many were also reportedly deliberately killed by the militants, according to Israeli sources. If confirmed by independent investigation, this does constitute a condemnable war crime.
However there was no planned or systematic slaughter.
4- The fighters reached unexpectedly up to 20 kilometres beyond Gaza.
5- The resistance then captured several soldiers, officers and civilians. The intention was to exchange them with the more than 5,000 Palestinian hostages in Israeli hands.
6- During this chaos, hundreds of other fighters from Hamas and other groups joined the attack, without being part of the original attack plans. Chaos ensued.
7- Israeli forces launched a counter-attack, resulting in fierce firefights in several locations. This left hundreds of Israeli civilians dead. Many civilians are also army reservists and are armed. They also took Hamas fighters under fire from homes and shelters.
8- To illustrate the intensity of the fighting, 1,200 Palestinian fighters died during the raid. Anyone who has ever been in a war, or knows anything about firefights, understands how much firepower it takes to take out 1200 fighters. A lot, in other words. This Israeli firepower also killed hundreds of Israeli civilians.
9- However, the orders to Hamas fighters were not to attack civilians. See their position here.
Several testimonies from Israeli civilians confirm this.
Another Israeli witness stated in an interview with Radio Israel that civilians in her neighbourhood were killed by Israeli fire See here.
And here is the original recording which has since been censored away from the radio:
10- There were casualties among children during the attack and firefights. That is absolutely regrettable. However, no babies were deliberately killed, let alone beheaded. Nor were any women raped.
These are now debunked propaganda lies.
See here and here, And here.
11- Israeli civilians were allegedly deliberately killed by some Hamas fighters who did not follow orders, and especially by fighters who later entered the area. If confirmed, these are war crimes.
12- Not all hostages are in the hands of Hamas. The many other armed fighters who entered the area also took civilians hostage. In some situations, Hamas has freed hostages and taken them to hospitals.
13- Israel refuses an independent investigation into these events. As it has regularly refused independent investigations all along.
14- Israeli citizens who contradict the Netanyahu regime's official narrative are threatened, intimidated and, in many cases, arrested.