The siege of Sderot: Hamas terrorists indiscriminately gun down motorists before seizing control of police station…which Israel army brings down on them as their tomb
- Sderot was attacked by dozens of Hamas terrorists on Saturday morning
- At least 20 civilians and 12 soldiers, police officers and firefighters were killed
Hamas militants indiscriminately gunned down civilians and took control of a police station in a small Israeli city in Saturday’s surprise offensive.
Sderot, home to 30,000 people, was one of the first settlements to come under attack by the Hamas militants, who moved through the city shortly after dawn.
Harrowing footage of the assault captured by survivors has since emerged, showing how the heavily armed assailants rode into the city on the back of pick-up trucks, killing dozens of civilians before besieging and ultimately seizing its police station.
In response, the Israeli military rolled in and began an over-night stand-off with the militants barricaded inside, turning the city into a war zone.
The city of Sderot was one of the first settlements to come under attack by the Hamas militants, who moved through the city on Saturday morning in white pick-up trucks (pictured)
From the back of the white truck, Hamas militants opened fire on a passing police car, blasting a hail of bullets into its side as it sped by. They also gunned down civilians at bus stops, as well as in their cars and on motorbikes, leaving a trail of destruction through Sderot
Sderot was one of several settlements attacked by Hamas in the assault that was launched at around 6.30am on Saturday, the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, in an assault that came 50 years after the outbreak of the 1973 Arab-Israeli war.
The Gaza-based Islamists fired thousands of rockets into Israel and used explosives and bulldozers to break through the fence around the blockaded Palestinian enclave.
Using motorbikes, pickup trucks, motorised gliders and speed boats, more than 1,000 militants streamed into Israel – targeting cities including Ashkelon, Ofakim and Sderot – in an attack that caught authorities completely off-guard.
At its closest point, Sderot sits just 2,700 feet from the Gaza Strip, putting it directly in the firing line of the sudden assault which has left Israel reeling.
According to footage analysed by the New York Times, an estimated 20 civilians were killed by the militants in Sderot alone. The toll could climb higher.
Officials have also said around a dozen soldiers, police and firefighters were also shot dead in the ensuing battle to regain control of the city from the assailants.
Videos were mostly captured by residents living in the city, who watched in horror as their home was invaded and brutally attacked by the terrorists.
One, overlooking a main road that runs through the centre of Sderot, showed how the heavily armed militants entered on two white trucks – one of which was equipped with a rear-mounted machine gun capable of firing hundreds of rounds per minute.
Footage on the outskirts of the city showed corpses lining the side of a main road – bodies of people attacked and killed in early morning traffic.
At one of the entrances to the city, more motorists were shot dead either in or near to their cars. From where their bodies lay on the road, it appeared some had tried to flee on foot before being shot by the invaders.
The trucks were then filmed driving along the Menachem Begin Road – a main thoroughfare that runs north-to-south through the southern part of the city, where the Islamic fighters left a trail of destruction in their wake.
bodies are seen strewn across the road near Sderot, Israel, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023
Civilians killed by Palestinian militants lie covered in Sderot, Israel, on Saturday, Oct. 7, 2023
The body of a motorist lies on a road following a mass-infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Sderot, southern Israel October 7, 2023
One witness, who filmed the video of the trucks entering the city, can be heard shouting ‘Hamas men’ – instantly recognising the assailants as terrorists.
READ MORE: Hamas tells Israeli civilians to get out of Ashkelon city NOW or face death
Seven people waiting at a bus stop on the road were gunned down and killed, while two people were killed in a van, and a nearby car, the New York Times reports.
Images of the aftermath show bullet holes in the windscreen and a body covered by a white sheet sitting in the driver’s seat.
Around 300 feet from there, another motorists and a motorcyclist were found dead, the body of the motorcyclist found slumped next to their motorbike.
Another resident captured one of the groups of terrorists as they approached the police station. From the back of the white truck, they opened fire on a passing police car, blasting a hail of bullets into its side as it sped by.
In other footage, gunshots can be heard ringing out across the city, and more gunmen were seen moving along a residential street, now on foot.
They were heard barking orders at each other, before kicking down doors and shooting more rounds into a passing passenger car.
After taking several hits, the car crashed into a post. It was unclear if the driver of the vehicle was killed or wounded in the gunfire.
In another clip, at least nine terrorists are seen closing in on the police station where a gun battle breaks out outside, with police officers exchanging fire with them.
Another witness who filmed the early exchanges is heard crying out to their mother: ‘They have headbands. There are a bunch of people. Look how many of them are in that car!’ – pointing out one of the white trucks.
With fighting already raging on one side of the police station, another group of attackers charged in from another direction, footage shows, flanking the building.
Israeli police officers were filmed as they defended the entrance to the station, doing everything they could to prevent the terrorists from getting inside.
One officer was shot and fell to the ground, before being dragged away by another, and while his colleagues moved forward to engage the terrorists, another officer was seen heroically saving two children from a stranded car, guiding them to safety.
Israeli police officers are seen exchanging fire with Hamas militants in Sderot on Saturday. One officers was seen falling to the ground after being shot, before being helped to safety by a colleague, as they battled to stop the terrorists from entering the police station
After finally eliminating the assailants, workers demolished the police station to ensure there were no surviving Hamas militants left barricaded in the building
A member of the Israeli security forces looks on as a bulldozer clears rubble in front of a police station in Sderot after it was damaged during battles to dislodge Hamas militants who were stationed inside, on October 8
Israeli soldiers patrol outside a police station which was the site of a battle following a mass infiltration by Hamas gunmen from the Gaza Strip, in Sderot, southern Israel October 8, 2023
Despite the efforts of the armed Israeli officers, the Hamas foot soldiers were able to fight their way into the police station before the Israeli military arrived – beginning a standoff with security forces that would last through the night.
After finally eliminating the assailants, workers demolished the police station to ensure there were no surviving Hamas militants left barricaded in the building.
Video showed heavy machinery turning the building into rubble, bringing it down on top of the bodies of the militants inside and turning it into their tomb.
In addition to killings in Israeli settlements, the gunmen carried out a massacre at a music festival attended by hundreds of young Israelis and foreigners near Kibbutz Reim, close to Gaza. As many as 270 bodies have been found there.
So far, Israel says Hamas gunmen killed more than 1,000 of its people and wounded over 2,000 in Israeli cities, towns and kibbutz communities.
Israel also said Hamas took more than 150 hostages. They include at least 11 Thais, two Mexicans and an unknown number of Americans and Germans.
In response, the Israeli military has massed tens of thousands of troops and heavy armour near Gaza, and called up 300,000 reservists for a campaign it has dubbed ‘Swords of Iron’.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to reduce to ‘rubble’ the Hamas’s hideouts in Gaza, an impoverished territory of 2.3 million people hemmed in by an Israeli-Egyptian blockade for more than 15 years.
Israeli soldiers patrol on the outskirts of Sderot near the border with Gaza on October 9, 2023
Israeli rescue teams evacuate the wounded near the southern city of Sderot on October 7
On Tuesday the army said it had ‘more or less restored control over the border’ with Gaza, a day after announcing it was evacuating communities near the frontier.
Israel further pounded Gaza overnight Monday-Tuesday.
Palestinian health officials said at least 687 people had been killed and more than 2,900 wounded on the Gaza side of the border.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military said it had found the bodies of 1,500 Islamist militants in the southern areas that it recaptured.
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