Israel’s Defence Forces (IDF) have released further information that they say is evidence of the detailed planning behind Hamas’ attack on October 7.
The IDF also shared two documents that they say were recovered after the attacks on October 7, detailing instructions on how to take hostages as well as plans to attack the Sa’ad kibbutz.
Sky News has not been able to verify these documents independently.
The material was presented following a briefing by the IDF’s Major General Michael Edelstein, where the IDF laid out additional video footage they say they had recovered.
Kibbutz Re’im video
Among the information released by the IDF today is a bodycam video which they say was worn by a Hamas fighter during the attack near the Re’im kibbutz.
The footage is too graphic to show here in full. But it shows two angles of a car driving past Hamas fighters, who open fire and kill the occupants.
Fighters can be seen crowding around the car, after it crashes into another vehicle parked on the side of the road.
The dashcam footage had already been posted online on 9 October by South First Responders, an Israeli group that has collected evidence of Hamas attacks such as CCTV or camera footage from various sites.
The point of view angle filmed by a Hamas fighter hasn’t been seen publicly before.
The incident took place on Highway 232 just outside the kibbutz of Re’im. This can be confirmed due to multiple signposts seen in both the bodycam and dashcam footage.
Also released to the media following the briefing was what the IDF has called an “abduction manual” they say was recovered on a Hamas fighter.
The seven-page document purportedly details instructions in Arabic for how to capture hostages and was shared by the IDF alongside an English translation.
Three of the pages are marked “top secret” and contain instructions on how to gather and isolate hostages, as well as on “safety”.
The documents direct combatants to take hostages after “cleansing their operating areas”, telling them to “create chaos with firearms” in order to “isolate and control” their allotted zone.
One section tells militants to use hostages as human shields by tying them to an area where they are clearly visible to opposition forces.
The alleged manual also states how fighters are directed to kill “anyone who might cause a threat or disturbance”.
Details about keeping hostages secret as well as instructions to conceal the number of hostages are also contained in the document.
“It’s a manual guiding how to manage the situation once you have already stormed somewhere, or made the attack,” said Avi Melamed, a Middle East analyst and former Israeli intelligence officer.
The remaining pages appear to be from a different document – they’re not marked as top secret nor do they have a page number at the bottom like the others do.
Mr Melamed also pointed to some inaccuracies in the information contained in the cache. One of the pages includes the different insignia used by different IDF units, where it appears at least one has been attributed to the wrong battalion.
Sky News has not been able to verify the documents independently. We spoke to several analysts, who confirmed that the contents largely reflect what one would expect to see from a Hamas document.
However, they also said that it’s very difficult to confirm the veracity of these materials based on the published images alone.
“These manuals are something I would expect Hamas fighters to have. It’s not clear why they brought them with them, though,” said Joe Truzman, a military analyst and expert in Palestinian militant groups at Foundation for Defending Democracies.
One analyst we spoke to, who asked not to be named, said that the document seemed strange as it contained instructions they felt were oversimplified and included several spelling mistakes.
However, they noted that while unusual, it’s difficult to draw conclusions regarding the legitimacy of the document from that alone.
They also pointed to another anomaly in the release.
Sky News has seen two versions of the hostage document – one released by the IDF and another sent to Sky News.
The version sent to Sky News contained an additional page that was omitted from the public release, which appears to be the front cover of a manual that includes the Hamas logo and the name “Kabitat al-Quds”.
However, this name was not recognised by the two Hamas experts Sky News spoke to.
“It seems that it’s referring to the name of a department within Hamas. However, this is a name that I don’t recall coming across in relation to Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups,” said Mr Truzman.
The name also appears elsewhere in both versions of the document as a watermark on the pages marked “top secret”.
Sky News has written to the IDF for comment.
A second document released by the IDF shows what they say is a Hamas manual planning an attack on the Kfar Sa’ad kibbutz.
Kfar Sa’ad is situated just two miles from the border with Gaza and was one of the attack sites on October 7. Israeli authorities are still determining how many people died there.
The document released today contains detailed information including an assessment of the security at the kibbutz, key locations to attack, and meeting points.
It also includes specific directions for individual units to capture and take hostages back to the Gaza Strip, as well as how they are to advance on the village in their vehicles.
The materials were previously reported on by NBC News before being shared in part by the IDF.
Sky News has not been able to independently verify the documents.