Hamas militants killed at least 364 people at the Supernova music festival on Oct. 7, some 100 more than previously thought, according to a report by Israeli police.
According to reports by Israel’s Channel 12 and Haaretz newspaper, the first police investigation and report on the attack revised the death toll up from 270 and found that 17 of those killed were police officers. Neither outlet has shown copies of the report by Israeli police.
Senior Israeli authorities also believe that Hamas did not know about the festival at kibbutz Re’im prior to launching its attack on southern Israel but learned about it through drones and parachuting gunmen on the day of the attack and directed militants to the festival’s location.
Roughly 4,400 people attended the festival on the day of the attack, the third day of the festival that had originally only been planned for two days. According to Haaretz, Israeli military forces responding to the site of the festival in a helicopter fired at members of Hamas, but shot and killed a handful of festival attendees as well.
“The event was attended, according to our estimate, by some 4,400 people, the large majority of whom managed to flee following the decision to disperse the event made four minutes after the rocket attack,” a senior police source said, according to Haaretz.
On Sunday, the Times of Israel reported that Israeli police denied that military forces had killed any festival attendees, arguing the report Haaretz and Channel 12 cited did not discuss actions by the Israeli Defense Forces.
“Contrary to the report, the police investigation does not refer to the activity of IDF forces and therefore no indication was given of harm to civilians as a result of aerial activity at the site,” the statement said, according to Times of Israel reporter Emanuel Fabian.
Hamas militants killed some 1,200 people during the entirety of the Oct. 7 attack and took more than 200 people back to Gaza as hostages. In retaliation, Israeli forces have killed more than 12,000 people in Gaza, many of them civilians and children.