Manuals discovered on the bodies of dead Hamas terrorists shows how they were ordered to execute “problematic” hostages with babies as specific targets in their surprise attack on Israel.
The Islamist terrorist group took more than 200 hostages returned to Gaza after a murderous rampage in communities in southern Israel that killed around 1,400 people, mostly civilians.
A copy of a guide obtained by The Telegraph revealed how Hamas planned to take hostages to use them as human shields in firefights with Israeli forces and kill anyone who posed a threat to its terror attack.
“Kill those who are problematic and those who spread a threat,” the document reads in Arabic.
“Gather some of the hostages in the area and use them as cannon fodder to ensure they are clearly visible,” it continued.
Israeli officials say the manuals are a sign of Hamas’s high level of planning in the months leading up to the terror attack Attack on October 7th.
“It shows they were very, very task-oriented,” Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, an IDF spokesman, told The Telegraph.
“It wasn’t just a random ‘let’s go over there and kill whoever we meet,’ but more like we go in, we take, we attack, we kidnap, we tie them up… there’s a whole list of things that need to be done.”
The hostage-taking manual recommended gathering victims at “pre-determined” locations on maps once each of the terrorist groups had finished “clearing their areas of operations.”
Maps found on the terrorists showed the locations of kindergartens, shops and other civilian targets.
The attackers were expected to “kill anyone who posed a threat or caused a distraction or disruption,” and blindfolded and bound the others at the wrists and ankles.
Further killings were only advocated as a “last resort”, with terrorists told to use “firearms, smoke and stun grenades, indirect threats, electric shocks, violence and terrorism” to maintain order.
It says men should be separated from women and babies, confirming that Hamas had long planned to target infants as part of its brutal incursion across the border into southern Israel.
Versions of the guide labeled “confidential” were found on the bodies of dead Hamas terrorists and in vehicles left behind by the group as Israeli forces fought back.
There is a feeling in Israel that the attack may have been more devastating than the terror group had imagined.
Officials believe each Hamas squad should only bring one or two hostages back across the border into Gaza, with a maximum of 30 taken into captivity.
Hundreds of victims
Instead, hundreds of victims were loaded into the backs of pickup trucks, motorcycles and golf carts as the terrorists caught Israeli forces off guard.
And Israeli officials fear that the actual number of victims brought to Gaza could rise beyond the officially announced 210.
They say 100 people are still missing and intelligence suggests they are still alive and being held hostage by Hamas.
The terrorist guide stated that the expected number of victims repatriated across borders could have been significantly lower.
Apparently Hamas had originally planned a protracted battle for control of the kibbutzim, with the recommendation to “gather as much food and drink as possible.”
“Do not use your own supplies to care for the hostages except in emergency situations,” the manual continues.
In anticipation of an armed conflict between Hamas and Israel Defense ForcesThe terrorists were given instructions on how to conduct the negotiations.
Only the most senior commanders were allowed to “communicate with the enemy” and were ordered to remain in close contact with leaders in Gaza throughout.
“If possible, do not participate in negotiations on the ground,” the document added, suggesting that the ultimate goal was to return to Gaza with prisoners.