Israeli helicopter opened fire on Israelis in festival during Hamas attack on Oct. 7: Report

A new report revealed Saturday that an Israeli military helicopter opened fire on Palestinian gunmen but wounded Israelis participating in a festival during an Oct. 7 attack by Hamas against Israel. The Haaretz newspaper said an Israeli security assessment was based on an investigation by police with Hamas gunmen who were arrested Oct. 7. Haaretz reported that the military helicopter arrived at the site of the festival and opened fire on the gunmen but also wounded several festival participants. It said, according to the assessment, the gunmen had no prior information about the festival which was held close to the Kibbutz Re'im, near the borders with Gaza. Israel's Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper also published a report on Israeli Air Force helicopters intervening in the attack carried out by Hamas from Gaza on Oct. 7. The newspaper reported that the Israeli forces 'found it difficult to identify Hamas militants,' adding that helicopter pilots 'used artillery' against civilians at the festival. "The Hamas t errorists were instructed to slowly blend in with the crowd and not to move under any circumstances,' the newspaper said it its report. 'In this way, they tried to fool the air force into believing that those below were Israelis. This deception worked for a while, 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. The newspaper said that "when they realized that, some of them decided to use artillery shells against the terrorists independently, without getting permission from their superiors." Police estimated that the number killed in the festival was 364, but did not reveal their identities. The investigation details are contrary to the official Israeli narrative on the attack by the Palestinian resistance group which claimed Hamas gunmen slaughtered the revelers in the festival. Hundreds of Hamas fighters crossed into Israel in a surprise operation named "Al-Aqsa Flood," triggerin g an Israeli retaliatory bloody onslaught on the Gaza Strip. Israel has killed more than 12,300 Palestinians in its air and ground attacks on the Gaza Strip since the surprise offensive by Hamas. The official Israeli death toll, meanwhile, stands at about 1,200. Thousands of buildings, including hospitals, mosques, and churches, have either been damaged or destroyed in Israel's relentless strikes on the besieged enclave. An Israeli blockade has also cut Gaza off from fuel, electricity, and water supplies, and reduced aid deliveries to a trickle. Israel has rejected growing calls for a cease-fire until the release of hostages held by Hamas. Source: EN - Anadolu Agency