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Report: Israeli helicopter killed settlers at Nova Festival; Hamas unaware of event

An Israeli Air Force AH-64D Apache attack helicopter flies over during an air show in Tel Aviv on April 26, 2023. (Photo by AFP)

A helicopter belonging to Israel’s military killed a number of settlers attending the Supernova music festival near the Gaza border on October 7, after the Palestinian Hamas resistance movement launched Operation Al-Aqsa Storm into the occupied territories, according to a report.

The Israeli security establishment’s assessment is that Hamas intended to infiltrate Re’im and other villages in the occupied territories and that it found out about the festival through drones or parachutes, and directed fighters to the location using their comms system upon a spontaneous decision to target the party, Haaretz reported on Saturday.

An Israeli army combat helicopter that arrived at the scene and fired at Palestinian fighters apparently also hit some party-goers, according to the assessment, which is based on interrogations from Hamas members and the Israeli police’s investigation of the incident, among other things.

One of the findings reinforcing the assessment is that the first resistance fighters arrived at the festival’s location from Route 232, and not from the direction of the Gaza border, Israeli police and other senior security figures said.

Another point that shows Hamas’ lack of knowledge about the event is that it was originally planned for Thursday and Friday, with an extra day on Saturday added only on Tuesday of that week.

“The event was attended, according to our estimate, by some 4,400 people, the large majority of whom managed to flee following the decision to disperse the event made four minutes after the rocket attack,” a senior police source said.

Hamas launched Operation Al-Aqsa Storm on October 7 in response to Israel’s violations at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East al-Quds and growing settler violence against Palestinians.

The raid shook the occupying entity’s invincibility myth, leaving 1,200 Israelis dead, including 360 participants at the music festival.

In response, Tel Aviv launched a genocidal war on the besieged Gaza Strip that has so far killed at least 12,300 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and injured around 30,000 others.

The regime has also imposed a “complete siege” on the coastal sliver, cutting off fuel, electricity, food, and water to the more than two million Palestinians living there.

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