A CNN obtained exclusive access, provided by the Israeli army, to videos recorded by Hamas men’s body cameras during the start of the surprise attack on Israel on October 7.
The IDF says it released the video to show the reality of what happened on October 7, a day that Israeli authorities have compared to September 11, when around 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 others taken hostage by the radical Islamic group.
The footage shows dawn on October 7 as a group of Hamas extremists wait in a white van. They make sure their body cameras are on and their weapons are ready.
An explosion in the distance seems to be the signal for movement. As they rush toward the border, the men shout “Allahu Akbar,” a phrase that means “God is great” in Arabic.
After three minutes of driving, they crossed the first border barrier which separates Gaza from Israel.
The fence is destroyed, leaving a large opening for their passage. It’s hard to know if it’s because of the explosion heard a few moments before.
The recordings also mark the first time that Israel has publicly released images of Hamas tunnels in Gaza, which are believed to have been used in these acts.
Wires run along the shafts, although there is no visible overhead lighting. The only light point comes from a flashlight. Some supplies are visible on the ground.
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The recording lasts 100 uninterrupted minutes, beginning before the attack and continuing until filming stops. A CNN geolocated the locations seen in the images and confirmed that they matched other images of the attack.
As you pass the first border barrier, the shooter with the camera repeatedly shouts, “Go right!” He seems to know where he is going, which indicates the depth of planning and coordination of what was happening.
Less than two minutes later, the extremists broke through the second security barrier. They are in Israel and heading to a kibbutz, running on dirt roads between plowed fields and a group of motorcycles. Many men have AK-47 rifles, others carry grenades slung on their backs.
After 17 minutes of video, the truck stops and a shooter opens fire for the first time in an open field. Israeli buildings are visible in the distance. We don’t know if he’s doing anything right. For a few minutes, the group gathers and listens to instructions not to waste ammunition.
They thank God for making it this far and wonder where the Israeli soldiers are. Their movement is virtually free, even after crossing the border.
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In a field near the town of Kissufim, the man with the camera leaves the car and moves forward, along with other members of the organization. He comes across an individual who is preparing a grenade. They take cover and advance while firing.
The gunman saw an Israeli soldier on the ground and, at point-blank range, opened fire several times, killing the soldier.
While he is caught by his colleagues, he grabs the Israeli soldier’s rifle. The shooter turns the camera on himself for a “selfie” video. He celebrates this achievement, says that he is 24 years old and that he is a father. Ask God for victory and “deserved martyrdom”.
From there, the group leaves on motorcycles. The shooter screams with joy as he walks past Israeli corpses strewn in the street.
65 minutes after crossing the Gaza fence, the man armed with the body camera and the group around him celebrate near-free rule in Israel, traveling with impunity on deserted roads. On the way, they passed through the towns of Ein HaShlosha and Kisufim.
At that time, the group approached a military base near the Reim kibbutz. The shooter closes the distance and fires the weapon he took from the Israeli soldier as he approached the door. Someone from the base answers.
The man screams as he is hit and falls to the ground. The camera pans slightly back and forth as his breathing becomes rapid and shallow.
Your participation in the attack is coming to an end. But the terror of October 7 will persist for hours.
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