IDF helicopter shot Israeli festivalgoers during Hamas attack, report reveals

Israelis encountered difficulty identifying Hamas fighters, prompting pilots to use artillery against festivalfoers

Israeli soldiers inspect the burnt cars of festival-goers at the site of an attack on the Nova Festival by Hamas gunmen. —Reuters
  • IDF chopper “mistakenly” shot festivalgoers amid attack: report.
  • Haaretz report challenges established Israeli narrative.
  • Report claims Hamas instructed its fighters to blend in with crowd

A recent report from Haaretz newspaper revealed that amid the October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel, an Israeli military helicopter hit festival participants while engaging Palestinian fighters.

The Israeli security assessment, based on an investigation by police with arrested Hamas gunmen, suggested that the attackers had no prior information about the festival held near Kibbutz Re’im, close to the Gaza border.

During the attack, Israeli forces encountered difficulty identifying Hamas fighters, prompting helicopter pilots to use artillery against festival participants. The report indicates that Hamas instructed its fighters to blend in with the crowd, attempting to deceive the air force into believing they were Israelis.

“The Hamas terrorists were instructed to blend in with the crowd slowly and not to move under any circumstances,” the newspaper said in its report.

“In this way, they tried to fool the Air Force into believing that those below were Israelis. This deception worked until the Apache helicopters had to break free of all restraints. The pilots found it difficult to distinguish who was a terrorist and who was an Israeli,” the report added.

Contrary to the official Israeli narrative, which claimed that Hamas gunmen deliberately targeted and killed festivalgoers, the investigation refutes this account. 

The Haaretz report challenges the established Israeli narrative and underscores the complexities faced by Israeli forces in distinguishing combatants from civilians during conflict situations. 

The incident resulted in casualties among festival participants, highlighting the tragic consequences of such misidentifications amid ongoing hostilities between Israel and Palestinian groups.

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