Nuseirat, Anatomy of the Israeli Massacre in Gaza - Latest Global News

Nuseirat, Anatomy of the Israeli Massacre in Gaza

In Israel, the attack was celebrated as a great success. A bloody, brutal ambush that degenerated into a massacre of almost 300 displaced people who were trying to go about their daily lives as best they could.

Suddenly they found themselves “in the depths of hell,” Al Jazeera’s Maram Humaid wrote on June 8.

An Israeli raid on the Nuseirat refugee camp, ostensibly to free four Israeli prisoners held there, reportedly left three more people dead, including a US citizen, according to the Qassam Brigades.

That is, apart from the at least 274 Palestinians killed.

What happened in Nuseirat? How could Israel kill so many people? Here is a summary of the attack:

What happened?

The attack on Nuseirat was reportedly aimed at freeing four prisoners captured on October 7: Noah Argamani, 25, Almog Meir Jan, 21, Andrey Kozlov, 27, and Shlomi Ziv,

It began around 11:00 a.m. when, according to witnesses, several civilian trucks and cars drove into a neighborhood near the camp’s market.

[Al Jazeera]

One was loaded with furniture to make it appear as though it was transporting refugees, while another had commercial signage on the outside. There were also what appeared to be civilian vehicles in the group.

To provide air support, the Israeli forces began aerial bombardment, hitting the busy market area the hardest, probably to spread as much panic and distress as possible and to cause as many casualties as possible.

INTERACTIVE - Airstrike on Gaza-Nuseirat-1718110071
[Al Jazeera]

From around 11:35 a.m., reports began circulating via Telegram channels that bomb explosions had been heard in the camp.

At one point, the convoy split into two groups of vehicles. Later investigations revealed that each group was heading to a location where Israeli prisoners were being held.

The three male prisoners were in one location. Al Jazeera understands that a witness report describes in detail how the soldiers got to the house.

There, heavily armed soldiers jumped out of the vehicles and ran through a cluster of makeshift tents erected by displaced people.

The witness describes how everyone cowered in fear in their meager quarters, with little more than a piece of cloth between them and the armed soldiers.

INTERACTIVE - Nuseirat attack camp in the Gaza Strip-1718110049
[Al Jazeera]

At the end of their run they reached a garden wall, through which they cut a hole to approach a quiet residential building from the back.

Al Jazeera could not determine whether this was the only access to the building, which is surrounded by a garden on at least two sides and probably faces a road.

Noa Argamani was held elsewhere, in a building on a narrow, tree-lined street.

A truck pulled up there, backed by soldiers who fired on sight, killing one person at the entrance to the building. Footage reviewed by Al Jazeera shows no weapons were seen near or on the person killed.

A ladder was extended from the truck so that the soldiers could climb over the balcony into an apartment.

All reports collected by Al Jazeera indicate that Israeli soldiers fired on sight in buildings they entered and on the streets they marched through.

To support the operation on land, the Israeli army reportedly moved armored vehicles from across the Salah al-Din Strait to the border between the Nuseirat and Bureij refugee camps.

At some point during the attack, more Israeli soldiers landed in a helicopter on the Gaza coast, not far from the pier built by the United States.

INTERACTIVE - Extraction of Nuseirat attack in Gaza Strip-1718110040
[Al Jazeera]

According to analyses, these were used to provide support when needed and to evacuate prisoners.

After the four people were rescued, the convoy of camouflaged trucks and civilian vehicles left the camp towards the sea, taking the road to Nuseirat.

From there, the four were loaded into an Israeli military helicopter and taken off, leaving a bloodbath in their wake as the stunned people of Nuseirat tried to comprehend what had happened.

What did the people of Nuseirat do when this horror was over?

The injured were taken to Shuhada al-Aqsa Hospital in Deir Balah, where both medical facilities and the morgue quickly became overwhelmed.

A video widely shared on social media shows the few doctors remaining in the hospital surrounded by countless people lying on the floor in agony, bleeding and screaming.

The paramedic in the middle of the shot is desperate. He can no longer move because there are so many patients on every square inch of the tiled floor that he has no room for his feet.

It is unclear how he carried on that day, how he sorted through the wounds and how he made the decisions about who to allocate the almost nonexistent hospital resources to.

Translation: Injured people crowd the corridors of Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Hospital following the massacre committed by the Israeli occupation army in the Nusierat refugee camp, amid the destruction of the health sector in the Gaza Strip by the Israeli occupation army.

Within an hour, as staff desperately tried to treat the overwhelming number of injured, the hospital received an evacuation order from the Israeli military. The hospital was located in an area that the Israeli military had previously designated as a security zone.

But the operation, which was considered a complete success by the Israelis and their international allies, claimed the lives not only of numerous Palestinians but also of several hostages.

The Qassam Brigades posted a video on their Telegram channel on Sunday showing three unidentified bodies with their faces covered, claiming they were the bodies of three prisoners, including a US citizen killed by Israel in its attack.

Wait a minute…how did Israeli soldiers sneak in?

The Israeli forces had “treacherously hidden themselves in an aid truck,” said the UN Special Rapporteur for the Occupied Palestinian Territories, Francesca Albanese. “This is ‘humanitarian camouflage’ on a whole different level,” she wrote on X. Israel has denied the accusation.

How many people were killed or injured?

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least 274 people, including at least 64 children, were killed in Saturday’s massacre and more than 700 were injured.

According to the Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, those killed by Israel include three Israeli prisoners, one of whom is a US citizen.

Israeli army spokesman Daniel Hagari claimed on Saturday that “dozens” of Palestinians were killed in the attack. In a press conference, he said he knew of “less than 100” victims but “could not say” how many of them were civilians.

How could so many people be killed to save only four?

Witnesses describe a violent ambush with indiscriminate shooting and air strikes.

Camp resident Anas Alayyan said Israeli soldiers carried out mass executions in the street.

“I went out into the streets and found bodies everywhere,” he told Al Jazeera.

INTERACTIVE - Aftermath of the Nuseirat attack in the Gaza Strip-1718110029
[Al Jazeera]

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