A young Israeli woman is seen begging for her life before she is shot at point-blank range by a Hamas terrorist, in a new video of the Oct. 7 massacres released this week by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“This is a war between good and evil,” wrote the ministry in a caption accompanying the one-minute 28-second video, which shows the cold-blooded execution of two young women attempting to flee an armed man dressed in black and wearing the signature green headband of a Hamas fighter.
Published on Monday, the video was edited together from security camera footage at Kibbutz Alumim, a collective farm of about 120 families located only about a kilometre from the Gaza border.
The kibbutz is down the road from the site of the Re’im music festival, at which Hamas attackers — some of them arriving by paraglider — massacred at least 364 people beginning at dawn on Oct. 7.
Kibbutz Alumim was serving as an impromptu muster point for survivors of the festival when it, too, was stormed by Hamas gunmen shortly after 7 a.m. local time.
The video, which does not have sound, shows a small clutch of shocked escapees gathered around the compound’s front gate. One festival-goer appears to be seated on a curb as a woman crouches down in an apparent gesture of comfort.
At 7:08 a.m., according to a time stamp on the video, the group is sent fleeing by the sight of three Hamas fighters sprinting towards the gate and raising their weapons.
As the group scatters, a terrorist can be seen breaking into a run towards a pair of women running slower than the others.
It takes the terrorist only about 10 seconds to catch a woman dressed in a flowing black skirt. From the angle of the camera, he seems to grab her by the hair or clothing before a puff can be seen, after which she drops to the ground.
This prompts a woman in a white sweatshirt just a few metres from the terrorist to drop to the ground in an apparent act of begging for her life. After he appears to aim a few shots at the other fleeing festival-goers, he lingers for a while before shooting the crouching woman in the head.
Scenes like this played out all across Southern Israel on Oct. 7. Dozens of young people who escaped the initial massacres at the Re’im music festival were instead murdered along roadways or in neighbouring communities as they attempted to find shelter.
Last week saw the widespread circulation of dashcam video from Oz Davidian, a nearby farmer who rescued an estimated 120 survivors from the festival by speeding through areas still held by Hamas. For much of Oct. 7, the terrorist group would retain unchallenged control of large sections of Route 232, Israel’s primary southwestern highway.
Footage from Davidian’s truck — which was compiled and broadcast by Israel’s Channel 13 — shows a lengthy stretch of roadway strewn with abandoned and burnt vehicles and dead bodies. “You see piles of corpses on top of each other, as if they were together and had just been slaughtered,” says Davidian in a narration translated into English.
The as-yet-unidentified women in the Kibbutz Alumim security footage were just two of the first people to die at the compound on Oct. 7.
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The kibbutz fared better than its neighbours, particularly as compared to nearby Kibbutz Be’eri, which was almost completely destroyed.
This was due in large part to the fact that the kibbutz’s small security force was able to coordinate an impromptu defence of the compound until they were relieved by the Israeli Defence Forces shortly after midnight.
The compound’s large contingent of foreign agricultural workers would be among the hardest hit; Hamas massacred nine Thai workers and 10 Nepali student labourers at Kibbutz Alumim.
Kibbutz Alumim remains evacuated, with only a small skeleton crew on hand to maintain the compound’s dairy herd. Last week, a walkthrough by Times of Israel founding editor David Horovitz — who briefly lived at the kibbutz in the 1980s — found barns still smouldering from fires set by Hamas and foreign worker accommodations still splattered in blood.
Among Western defenders of the Oct. 7 massacres, it’s a common refrain that Hamas attackers were somehow “resisting” colonial occupation. University of Toronto professor and “decolonization” expert Uahikea Maile, for example, has praised the massacres as “Palestinian anticolonial resistance.”
But Kibbutz Alumim’s status as Jewish-owned land long predates the 1948 establishment of the State of Israel. It was purchased from Arab landowners by the Jewish National Fund while the region was still under British control — and exists in an area that was designated as Jewish in the United Nations’ original partition plan for the Palestinian territories.