In a recent 16-page report, the Islamist group Hamas admitted to shortcomings in the October 7 attacks in southern Israel, asserting that these actions were deemed necessary in response to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories. The assault resulted in a tragic toll of over 1,140 lives, predominantly civilians.
Hamas justified the attacks, attributing some faults to the swift collapse of the Israeli security and military systems. The group emphasized the repercussions of the Israeli occupation and stated, “If there was any case of targeting civilians, it happened accidentally and in the course of the confrontation with the occupation forces.”
The attack led to the death of around 700 Israeli civilians and 76 foreigners, with an additional Israeli still missing, according to a report by AFP. During the assault, approximately 250 hostages were seized, and as of the latest Israeli figures, about 132 captives remain in Gaza, with at least 27 believed to have been killed.
In response to the October 7 attacks, Israel declared war on Hamas, deploying tens of thousands of troops along the Gaza frontier and the northern border with Lebanon. The counterattack resulted in the tragic loss of at least 25,105 lives in Gaza, primarily affecting women, children, and adolescents.
Hamas, in its report, asserted the right of the Palestinian people to determine their own future and internal affairs, stating, “No party in the world has the right to decide on their behalf.” This marked the group’s first public report, presented in both Arabic and English, offering background information on the attack that occurred when militants crossed Gaza’s border.
The article also sheds light on the Israeli military’s reported damage to 16 cemeteries during its ground offensive in Gaza. The IDF explained that this destruction was part of an effort to search for the remains of hostages taken by Hamas during the October 7 terror attacks. The IDF spokesperson clarified that the hostage identification process is conducted with respect for the deceased, and bodies not identified as hostages are returned with dignity.
It is essential to note that deliberate damage to religious sites, including cemeteries, is generally considered a violation of international law unless specific circumstances justify such actions for military reasons.