Dozens of injured survivors of the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre at a music festival close to the Gaza Strip have filed a $56 million suit against the Israeli government, alleging various forms of negligence that resulted in unavoidable casualties.
Declaring that “the negligence and the gross oversight is beyond belief,” the 42 plaintiffs have targeted four government entities: the Israeli Defense Forces, the Shin Bet internal security service, the Defense Ministry, and Israel Police. According to the suit, 364 attendees were killed and 40 kidnapped and taken to Gaza.
#BREAKING Israel music festival-goers fled in hail of bullets
People tried to flee the site, running across the sand and getting into their cars to drive away. Partygoers said there were jeeps full of gunmen, shooting at the cars.
Over 260 bodies were found at the site of the… pic.twitter.com/RvgOuxAodr
— IMedia (@imediaxyz) October 8, 2023
The IDF conducted two security assessments over the night leading into Oct. 7, sparked by unusual observations on the border with Gaza. However, no warnings were given to the organizers of the Supernova rave — despite the fact that Shin Bet had taken the threat seriously enough that it deployed to the area soldiers from its unit responsible for thwarting abductions. It’s also been reported that military units put on alert didn’t know the festival was going on.
“A single phone call by IDF officials to the commander responsible for the party to disperse it immediately in view of the expected danger would have saved lives and prevented the physical and mental injuries of hundreds of partygoers, including the plaintiffs,” they say in their filed complaint.
In a particularly grim twist of fate, the festival was originally slated to last only two days — Oct. 5 and 6. However, earlier in the week of the event, organizers requested and were granted permission to extend it to Oct. 7. The “Gaza Division’s operations officer, Lt. Col. Sahar Fogel, opposed the extension, arguing it was a needless security risk, but was told by his superiors to approve it,” writes Antiwar’s Dave DeCamp, citing Israeli newspaper Haaretz.
An expert cited by the plaintiffs said the IDF shouldn’t have approved the festival at all, given its location: “The event was held a small distance from the Strip’s border. The noise from the party was heard by Gazan residents and revelers were an easy target for the terror attack.”
The plaintiffs also fault the police for positioning only 27 officers to secure the festival, with the great majority armed only with pistols, in an alleged failure to comply with regulations requiring long arms when deployed so close to Gaza.
According to Haaretz, the permit signed by an IDF colonel said “the northern brigade is responsible for regional security during the event in the fence space across from the Gaza Strip.” However, attendees say no soldiers were positioned there. In the most damning fact of the day, the festival came under attack at around 6:30am and the IDF didn’t arrive until 3pm.
Some of the civilian casualties from the music festival were caused by IDF Apache helicopter fire which was directed at vehicles driving into Gaza, as well as people getting out of vehicles and walking through nearby fields.
Tue, 01/02/2024 – 21:20