Hamas terrorists massacred at least 40 babies and young children before beheading some of them and gunning down their families in a small kibbutz in Israel, horrified Israeli soldiers have claimed.
Some 70 Hamas terrorists wielding guns and grenades stormed the usually quiet Kfar Aza kibbutz in southern Israel, killing anyone – men, women and children – they saw.
The bullet-riddled bodies of Israeli residents now lay in the grounds of the kibbutz among burned out houses, strewn furniture and torched cars. Solemn Israeli soldiers today went from house to house to take away the scores of people massacred there.
Outside the destroyed homes, the soldiers told i24News correspondent Nicole Zedek how they saw the bodies of babies next to their cots, their heads chopped off, in a sign of the depraved acts committed by the terrorists since they attacked Israel on Saturday.
As many as 40 babies and small children were killed, IDF soldiers told i24News after taking them to the scene of the atrocity. Harrowing images from the scene show a baby’s cot covered with blood, her small bloodied dress lying next to it.
The Israeli soldiers were seen comforting each other after witnessing such horrors, including the bodies of entire families who were gunned down in their beds.
‘You see the babies, the mothers, the fathers, in their bedrooms, in their protection rooms and how the terrorist kills them. It’s not a war, it’s not a battlefield. It’s a massacre, it’s a terror activity,’ said Israeli Major General Itai Veruv from the horrific scene.
Israeli soldiers remove the body of a compatriot, killed during an attack by Hamas terrorists in Kfar Aza, on Tuesday
A baby’s seat and child’s dress is seen covered in blood in the aftermath of a Hamas attack
Gunshots and blood stains are seen on a door and walls of a house where civilians were killed days earlier in an attack by Hamas on this kibbutz near the border with Gaza on Tuesday
Hamas terrorists beheaded babies and gunned down entire families in their homes in a small kibbutz in Israel, Israeli soldiers have claimed
Outside the destroyed homes, the soldiers told i24News correspondent Nicole Zedek (pictured) how they saw the bodies of babies next to their cots, their heads chopped off, in a sign of the depraved acts committed by the terrorists since they attacked Israel on Saturday
‘It is something that I never saw in my life. It’s something that we used to imagine from our grandfathers, grandmothers in the pogrom in Europe and other places. It’s not something that happens in new history.’
The stench of bodies was heavy in the air as the soldiers showed journalists the kibbutz, popular amongst families. The small football nets where children would have played football were seen on a pocket of grass – but in the background, the bodies of families were laid on the ground.
Outside one of the small houses of the kibbutz the body of a resident was covered by a purple sheet with a bare foot protruding. A pillow and other objects from the house lay scattered.
Elsewhere bodies of the gunmen lay face down on the ground. A destroyed gate at the perimeter of the kibbutz showed where the gunmen had entered.
The terrorists went on a rampage, killing hundreds of Israelis and taking dozens hostage in places like Kfar Aza, near Sderot. Some of the houses had been almost totally destroyed in the attack with collapsed, burned walls.
Israeli troops were going house to house to retrieve civilian bodies in body bags. They had not been able to take them before as they were still fighting gunmen and working through booby-traps.
One soldier shouted: ‘Tell the world what you saw here.’
Soldiers were still securing the paths of the kibbutz, which had single-storey houses with verandas, palm trees and banana plants, as bursts of gunfire and explosions could be heard in the distance.
The ruthless murder of innocent families at the Kfar Aza kibbutz by Hamas terrorists is just one of many massacres to emerge since the gunmen launched their surprise attack on Saturday.
A view of a house left in ruins after an attack by Hamas militants on this kibbutz days earlier when dozens of civilians were killed near the border with Gaza on Tuesday
An aerial view shows the bodies of victims of the Hamas attack on the Kfar Aza Kibbutz on Tuesday
An IDF Soldier covers his nose while walking past Hamas militants and Israeli civilians who were killed days earlier in an attack by Hamas militants on the Kfar Aza Kibbutz on Tuesday
Sickening footage emerged today of the moment murderous Hamas gunmen shot dead an Israeli family’s dog before storming their home, raiding their fridge and setting their home alight amid a campaign of civilian slaughter.
The deplorable attack was just one of dozens which unfolded in the kibbutz of Be’eri, a tiny farming community of 1,000 people where Israeli security forces and rescue workers later found 108 bodies after a long hostage standoff with gunmen.
The clip, obtained from the GoPro camera attached to the helmet of one Hamas fighter, showed how the dog came bounding out of the house towards the attackers and was immediately mowed down with several bullets.
Hamas terrorists promptly invaded one house and rifled through the family’s belongings, drinking orange juice from their fridge and gorging themselves on its contents.
Then one militant drew a lighter from his pocket and took it to the wall, sparking house plants and hanging ornaments that quickly set ablaze before the heavily armed men made their exit.
Another harrowing scene from the same kibbutz showed how a second group of Hamas militants gained access to the gated compound by slaughtering civilians at near point blank range as they sat in a car.
The footage of the brutal attack was captured by cameras mounted at various points overlooking the entrance to the kibbutz, protected by a yellow metal gate.
Smoke billows during Israeli strikes on Gaza City on Tuesday
The deplorable attack was just one of dozens which unfolded in the kibbutz of Be’eri, a tiny farming community where Israeli security forces and rescue workers later found 108 bodies
One militant withdrew a lighter from his pocket and took it to the wall, sparking house plants and hanging ornaments that quickly set ablaze before they made their exit
The dog came bounding out of the house towards the attackers and was immediately mowed down with several bullets
CCTV camera footage, timestamped 5.55am on Saturday, shows two Hamas militants armed with AK-47s and dressed in camouflaged military clothing, body armour and combat boots approaching the gate that blocks a two lane road.
At first, the two fighters are seen trying to find a way through the gate, with one testing to see whether he could fit through the small gap underneath.
He soon changes his mind, and instead breaks into a small guardhouse that sits to one side of the kibbutz entrance, using his rifle to smash his way inside.
Seconds after he climbs through a window, the other combatant spots the approaching car. He hides behind a tree, while the first soldier hides inside the guardhouse, setting an ambush for the approaching vehicle.
At 5.57am, barely two minutes after the two militants were first seen inspecting the entryway to the kibbutz, the driver and passenger are seen pulling up to the gate.
Both are seemingly unaware that the two armed men are lying in wait, and the electronically-operated gate starts to open.
As the driver briefly leans out the window, seemingly to address whoever is inside the guard-house, the armed militant is seen running out from behind the tree.
CCTV camera footage, timestamped at 6:05am on Saturday morning, caught a group of Hamas gunmen in fatigues lying in wait
Another harrowing scene from the same kibbutz showed how a second group of Hamas militants gained access to the gated compound by slaughtering civilians at near point blank range as they sat in a car
As soon as the civilians stopped at the gate and activated the electronic barrier, the gunmen sprang out from cover, pointed their rifles at the car windows from mere feet away, and blasted the occupants
Bodies of dozens of Israeli civilians are seen loaded into a truck following the slaughter
Body bags from Israeli Hamas attack
Once he is feet away from the car, he mercilessly opens fire from point blank range through the passenger side window, blasting the two Israelis with several rounds.
From the other side, the Hamas militant in the guard house also opens fire, hitting the driver several times, who is seen being buffeted as he it hit by the bullets.
As the militants run through the now open gate, the footage shows the car continuing to gently roll forward into the kibbutz which has now been breached.
The victims inside the car remain motionless, covered in blood. Both are presumed to have been killed in the attack, likely among the first victims on Saturday which saw more than 1,000 Hamas gunmen stream across the border from Gaza and into Israel, where they indiscriminately shot civilians while taking others hostage.
The times of Israel reported Hamas had control of the Be’eri kibbutz for 17 hours.
A kibbutz is a settlement unique to Israel that was traditionally based on agriculture, and began as being centred around the idea of being a utopian Jewish community.
In recent decades, some have been privatised and changes have been made to the communal lifestyle, but the fundamental ideas remain the same: a voluntary society in which people live in accordance to a specific social contract.
All income generated by the Kibbutz is put into a communal pool, and is spent on running the Kibbutz to benefit all of its residents.
‘They walked around Be’eri like they owned the place,’ Haim Jelin, a survivor of the Be’eri attack and a former local politician, told Army Radio on Sunday.
‘They shot indiscriminately, abducted whoever they could, burned down people’s homes so they’d have to escape through the window, where the terrorists would wait,’ Mr Jelin added. He described the attack on the village as a ‘massacre’.
Other footage has emerged of civilians, who appear to have their hands tied behind their backs, being led down a residential street by gunman.
A second video then shows at least four bodies lying on the ground in the same location, with matching hair and clothes to those who were previously seen alive.
They are among 1,000 Israelis who have been killed in Hamas’ brutal attacks, which prompted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare war against the Palestinian militant group and begin a campaign of crushing air strikes on Gaza.
The death toll dwarfs the scale of any past attack by Islamists apart from 9/11. Scores of Israelis were taken to Gaza as hostages, with some paraded through the streets.
At least 770 Gazans have since been killed in Israeli strikes, according to Gaza officials, while whole districts in Gaza have been flattened.
It comes Hamas today launched a barrage of rockets at the port city of Ashkelon – hours after the terrorists warned Israeli civilians living there to leave before 5pm or die in response to the airstrikes relentlessly pounding the Gaza strip.
Video shows a series of rockets being fired at the city in southern Israel just after 5pm local time (3pm UK time), with residents there being urged to shelter from the onslaught.
Rockets fired from the Gaza Strip are intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence missile system over Ashkelon on Tuesday
Palestinians carry a wounded man at Al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday following Israeli airstrikes
A Palestinian man carries the body of a child killed in overnight Israeli shelling during a funeral in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip
Air raid sirens were heard across the city, with footage showing frantic parents picking up their young children before sprinting into an airport to take cover from the rocket attack.
Panicked civilians, many of whom were desperately trying to flee the carnage on flights, were seen cowering as the sound of shells exploding resounded around them. One woman cried: ‘They’ve closed the doors. Oh my god, I am so scared, we heard a boom and now we wait and see, oh God.’
Hamas’s armed wing had warned residents of the city to leave before 5pm Israeli time (3pm UK time) or face death in response to the Israeli airstrikes that have destroyed thousands of Hamas targets and killed 770 Palestinians.
It comes after Israel warned Hamas they had ‘nowhere to hide’ and that its air force was launching ‘extensive attacks’ on the Palestinian terrorist group every four hours in revenge for its deadly surprise incursion that saw more than 1,000 Israelis slaughtered.
Israeli forces have already used its strike force of 600 planes and 300 rocket launchers to relentlessly pound the Gaza strip.
‘We will reach them everywhere,’ military spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said, hours after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to obliterate Hamas.
Netanyahu, who first came to power in Israel in 1996 and has served three separate terms, compared Hamas to the Islamic State group and said Israel planned to deploy ‘unprecedented force’ that would ‘reverberate for generations’.
But in response, Hamas’s military wing said that it would launch rockets at the city of Ashkelon while warning the residents there to leave there by 5pm this evening or die. And that promise came true, with video showing a series of rockets being fired by Hamas terrorists towards the city.
Footage also showed Israel’s Iron Dome air defence system destroying many of the rockets after they were fired from the Gaza strip.
Medics transport wounded children into at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday
A man carries a wounded child into at al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday
The terrorists also warned today they will not hand over hostages until the fighting ends – a day after they warned they would execute Israeli civilian captives if the airstrikes continued.
Ismail Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, told NBC News the terrorist group is not open to a prisoner exchange, before issuing the sinister message: ‘The colonial occupation will pay a price for the devastation inflicted upon the Palestinians in Gaza.’
Prior reports had suggested that Qatar had been mediating a potential swap of Israeli hostages in exchange for imprisoned Palestinians. It comes after Hamas warned late last night it would begin executing Israeli civilian captives.
‘Every targeting of our people without warning will be met with the execution of one of the civilian hostages,’ Hamas’ armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement.
Since the incursion began on Saturday, Hamas fighters have abducted up to 150 people, including women and children, from Israeli territory and dragged them back in Gaza amid their ruthless slaughter.
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