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Alumim massacre

Alumim massacre
Part of the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel
An Izz Ad-din al-Qassam Brigades militant storming the gate of Kibbutz Alumim
Alumim is located in the Gaza Strip
Alumim
Alumim
Site of the attack in Israel
Native nameהטבח בעלומים
LocationAlumim, Southern District, Israel
Coordinates31°27′6″N 34°30′49″E / 31.45167°N 34.51361°E / 31.45167; 34.51361
Date7 October 2023; 8 months ago (2023-10-07)
Attack type
Mass shooting, mass murder, war crime
Deaths16 or 17
Perpetrator Hamas

On 7 October 2023, dozens of Hamas militants attacked Alumim, a kibbutz close to the border fence with the Gaza Strip, as part of the surprise attack on Israel. There were 41 Thai and Nepalese foreigners working at the kibbutz. The militants killed between 16 and 17 of these workers and kidnapped between five and eight of them. The kibbutz's security team were too far away and unable to save the employees. The militants did severe structural damage to the Kibbutz's dairy farming operation.

After heavy fighting, the security team were able to push the militants back with the help of the Israeli Defense Forces. No deaths among the remaining civilian population of the kibbutz were reported. At least two Israeli soldiers were killed by militants, while a significant number of Hamas militants were killed.

Attack

At around 6:30 AM, red alert sirens and the sounds of explosions from Iron Dome interceptors deployed in the area were heard. There were more explosions were heard in the area.[1][2] The IDF ordered the kibbutz”s security team, consisting of 12 civilians, to be activated which was done by 6:45 AM.[1]

An alert was received at 6:45 AM that armed militants were approaching the entrance to Alumim. Between eight[2] and ten[1] militants on motorcycles arrived at the main gate at 7:00 AM, but were unable to open it. They then rode around the kibbutz and broke through a rear gate. This allowed them to reach and open the main gate from the inside. They began shooting at motor vehicles and their occupants who were passing on the road outside the kibbutz. One militant was wounded and evacuated in the act.[1]

The militants then penetrated the area where foreign employees from Nepal and Thailand lived on the southern side of the kibbutz. The security team fired at them but were unable to assist the workers because they were too far away. The militants entered the foreign workers' housing, killed many of them and kidnapped others to the Gaza Strip.[1][3][4][5][6]

They continued to the kibbutz dairy, where they killed additional Thai foreign workers, burned down the silo, punctured the milk tanks, and burned hay intended for the cows. Extensive damage was caused to the dairy operation.[1][3]

At 9:00 AM, a number of militants entrenched themselves in a public park. The security team engaged them and managed to kill two, including their commander. At this point the militants were prevented from entering the area where the remaining kibbutz civilians lived.[1]

The exchange of fire continued until 12:00 PM, when the Metzada and Yahalom units of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) arrived and assisted in the elimination of militants.[2][7] At 12:30 PM, a group of militants arrived at the kibbutz packing house. The IDF's Shaldag Unit confronted them for several hours and together with an attack helicopter killed all of them.[1]

On 9 October, the members of the kibbutz were evacuated to Netanya.[1][8] Surviving foreign workers returned to their countries in the days after the battle.[5][6]

Casualties

Members of the kibbutz

No Israeli civilian kibbutz inhabitants are mentioned as having being killed. Non-combatant civilians mainly hid in their safe rooms for the duration of the battle.[8][9] The defenders were successful at keeping militants from accessing the kibbutz living quarters, except those used by the foreign workers which were closer to where the fence was breached.[1]

Thai and Nepalese employees

Of the 41[5] foreigners employed as farm workers at Alumim, between 16[1][3][4] and 17[5] were killed at the start of the attack. Between five[5] and eight[1][3][4] others were kidnapped and taken to Gaza. Ten[5][6] Nepalese nationals were killed and one[5][6] kidnapped. Similar numbers for Thai nationals are less certain with one source giving the breakdown as seven[5] killed and four[5] kidnapped.

IDF

During the fighting, brothers Yishai and Noam Slotki from Beersheba were killed. They were IDF soldiers who come to the area on their own initiative to take part in the defense of Alumim. The brothers were the grandsons of Rabbi Eitan Eizman, president of Tzvia educational institution network, head of the board of trustees at Orot Israel Teachers College, and former board member of Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva.[10][11] Several defenders and civilians were wounded and treated by the on-site kibbutz nurse before being evacuated.[1]

Hamas

Various defenders mention that “dozens”[1][2] of Hamas militants attacked the kibbutz. Eight[2] or ten[1] militants on motorcycles were involved in the initial attack on the kibbutz's main gate. Field battle reports indicate militants initially being killed in groups of two or three by the kibbutz security team. A portion of the security team reported killing 15-20 militants. More militants were killed when IDF units joined the battle. No total number of militants killed is mentioned, but all fighting stopped by the end of 7 October.[1] One militant was found hiding and arrested in cleanup operations on 8 October.[1] It is not clear if this is the same person shown in a subsequent interrogation video.[12]

Aftermath

On 9 October, the members of the kibbutz were evacuated to Netanya.[1][8] Surviving foreign workers returned to their countries in the days after.[5][6]

A document left behind by a militant at Alumim is reported to contain orders "[to raid] the kibbutz to maximize killings, take hostages, fend off security forces, and wait for further orders”. Allegedly, a similar document was found after the Re'im music festival massacre.[13] A video, allegedly of a militant captured at Alumim, reportedly shows him pointing out further instructions to carry out beheadings, amputation of legs, and permission by his group leaders to rape the corpse of a girl, which would be war crimes. The video and the circumstances under which it was taken have not been confirmed.[12]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "כיתת כוננות מול עשרות מחבלים: הקרב שהציל את קיבוץ עלומים". Makor Rishon (in Hebrew). October 13, 2023. Archived from the original on October 14, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e "היינו 12 תושבים מול עשרות מחבלים. נלחמנו על הבית". mako.co.I’ll (in Hebrew). October 11, 2023. Archived from the original on November 8, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  3. ^ a b c d "Israeli dairy farmers slaughtered by Hamas as they milked their cows". tsln.com. October 13, 2023. Archived from the original on October 16, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  4. ^ a b c Pokharel, Gaurav; Ellis-Petersen, Hannah (October 20, 2023). "I was helpless': Nepali survivors of Hamas attack in Israel haunted by trauma". The Guardian. Archived from the original on November 2, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Surkes, Sue (October 19, 2023). "Thai laborers, the 'working hands' of Israeli farming, pay with blood". The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on October 31, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  6. ^ a b c d e Chen, Heather; Olarn, Kocha (October 31, 2023). "Thai deaths in Hamas massacre spotlight poor agricultural workers from Asia who toil in Israel's fields". CNN. Archived from the original on November 1, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  7. ^ "Town by town: the tragic and heroic human stories behind the Hamas attack". Ynet. October 30, 2023. Archived from the original on November 2, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  8. ^ a b c Dumas, Daisy; Davies, Caroline (October 10, 2023). "British-Israeli survivor tells of horrific scenes after kibbutz attack". The Guardian. Archived from the original on October 31, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  9. ^ Samuels, Andrea (October 21, 2023). "Israel at war: 26 hours in a bomb shelter as death rained all around". The Jerusalem Post. Archived from the original on November 2, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  10. ^ "Noam Slotki, 31, Yishay Slotki, 24: Brothers fought and died together". Ynet. October 25, 2023. Archived from the original on November 3, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  11. ^ "Rabbi loses two grandsons in fighting in southern Israel". Arutz Sheva. October 11, 2023. Archived from the original on October 31, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  12. ^ a b "IDF publishes video of Hamas attacker describing orders to kill, rape". The Times of Israel. October 23, 2023. Archived from the original on November 1, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.
  13. ^ "In coded doc, Hamas instructed terrorists to kill civilians, take captives – report". The Times of Israel. October 15, 2023. Archived from the original on November 3, 2023. Retrieved November 2, 2023.

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