As shaky footage continues to emerge from the battlefield where Hamas launched its surprise attack on the border between Israel and the Gaza Strip, a new clip shows civilians lying in the dirt while first responders treat wounds and police officers, weapons in hand, run toward the sound of gunfire.
Much of the initial loss of life occurred near a Nova Festival where attendees were dancing with elation moments before a series of rockets struck the area and killed at least 260 revelers. Witnesses describe Hamas forces descending on the area and shooting innocent civilians as they covered their heads with their hands.
Even those who fled to their nearby cars were not safe as militant forces intercepted them with vehicles of their own, shooting through windshields and leaving scenes of carnage.
The waves of lethal attacks have left at least 600 dead and more than 100 Israelis taken hostage in the worst attack on the Jewish nation in decades. The fighting has intensified in Gaza where Israel’s defense forces have mounted a full-scale assault of the Palestinian enclave, dropping bombs decimating buildings suspected of harboring some of the Hamas intelligence centers.
Other clips show partygoers saying “go, go, go” to one another as they fled while bullets whizzed overhead. Others describe Hamas killers going “tree by tree” to shoot families holding hands as they bunkered down in hopes of riding out the chaos.
The Israeli rescue service Zaka confirmed it had recovered at least 260 bodies from the area, which stretches across the plains of the Negev Desert near Urim, a community close to the Gaza Strip.
Building upon Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise of “war” in revenge for the attacks, Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said that Gaza residents would be subjected to torturous conditions without electricity or water while the nation’s Air Force completes bombing runs to ensure that the Hamas terrorist network is incapable of launching future attacks.
“No electricity, no food, no fuel, no water. Everything is closed. We’re fighting human animals and we act accordingly,” he said.
President Biden stated that the U.S. “stands ready to offer all appropriate means of support” to Israel, and so far a bipartisan level of support in Congress is behind the Jewish nation’s response to the attacks. However, the president took criticism for hosting a BBQ at the White House in the hours following the attack which claimed the lives of at least several Americans. Others, including the parents of NFL Detroit Lines linebacker Alex Anzalone, remain trapped in Israel as flights are grounded in anticipation of follow-up offenses from both sides.