Position paper on the events of 7th October 2023

On October 7th 2023 the fence/barrier in Northern Gaza between the occupied Gaza Strip and Israel was breached by members of the military wing of Hamas, the Islamic Resistance Movement. They were shortly followed by fellow Palestinians keen to experience that which had been denied them since birth – freedom of movement outwith the Gaza ghetto. Although Israel had long been aware of the Hamas preparations for such an operation, any warnings were not taken seriously to the extent that the Israeli controlled boundary crossing was virtually unmanned.

This unparalleled and unprecedented event shocked Israel and its Jewish citizens to the core. They had all long taken for granted the presence of a largely subdued Palestinian population in near proximity, imprisoned, largely forgotten and ignored. That is, until the events of 7th October 2023.

Within 24 hours or so of this Palestinian short-lived dash for freedom – and the opportunity to engage with their heavily armed captors, which they did, the Israeli government was announcing to the world that Israel’s Jews were confronting their deadliest moment since the Holocaust. Over and above the inevitable fatalities, hostages (both military and civilian including children) were taken back to the Gaza Strip with allegations of unverified atrocities perpetrated by Hamas quick to follow. Swift on the heels of the Israeli government’s shock at the turn of events was a vocal demand and expectation that governments, and persons with any humanity, should condemn Hamas.

Also quick to surface was the statement, to be repeated ad nauseum in the coming days and months, that Israel had the right to ‘self-defence’ and that the ‘eradication’ of Hamas was the goal. The position of Scottish Friends of Palestine on this matter is quite clear. Any state which maintains a military occupation is disingenuous and dishonest when it launches a military campaign – in the case of Israel, a genocidal campaign – against the occupied people under the umbrella of ‘self-defence’. In reality the only obligation which applies to Israel in this matter is the obligation to end its military occupation of Palestinian land and its people as soon as possible. An occupied people, however, do have the right to self-defence, the right to struggle, including armed struggle, for their freedom and independence.

As time progressed, there was backtracking on the part of Israel regarding casualty figures on October 7th. Initially the claim was 1400 dead at the hands of Hamas. This was reduced to 1200 with the final total for deaths settling at around 1147. The reason for this reduction of 200 from the initial figure was that bodies were so badly incinerated that identification had been difficult. So just who are these 200 unclaimed bodies? The answer is probably ’Hamas fighters’. So, who or what was responsible for incinerating the 200 alleged Hamas fighters (it is prudent to insert ‘alleged’ for the reason that Palestinian civilians took the opportunity of joining this dash for freedom)? This question has never been addressed by Israel or the mainstream media, just as credible evidence of the alleged atrocities by Hamas has never been produced – SEE the Appendix for insight into existing credible evidence of Israel’s responsibility.

Likewise, while the display of a couple of machine guns and munitions was sufficient justification for the unlawful, violent and deadly invasion by Israel’s army of Gaza’s al Shifa hospital, Israel has never put on show any armaments allegedly used by the Hamas fighters on October 7th. And yet Israel, which consistently denies access to the scrutiny of independent observers, expects the world to believe that the scenes of destruction on October 7th were a consequence of light weaponry carried by Hamas fighters. Evidence suggests otherwise – SEE the Appendix.

The ideological base of Hamas is grounded upon Islamic teachings so it has its charitable, educational and social services function in addition to its political and military wings. The co-founder of Hamas and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, was the recipient of financial support from Israel in the 1980’s. This was in the hope of weaning the Palestinian people off the secular message of Palestinian nationalism. When this failed the wheelchair bound, near blind quadriplegic, Sheikh Yassin, was murdered by an Israeli missile strike in 2004. [SEE Scottish Friends of Palestine’s Twenty Questions on Palestine Q19 Hamas – some questions answered]

It is important to note that democratic elections, with international monitors in place, were held in the OPt on 25 January 2006. Hamas gained 44.45% of the vote and won 74 of the 132 seats resulting in Hamas forming the second Palestinian Legislative Council covering Gaza and the West Bank. This newly elected government had its funds withheld by those states who opposed the democratic choice of the Palestinian under occupation.

Whether a member of Hamas or not, the Palestinians imprisoned within the Gaza Strip are the victims of Zionism and current Israeli policy and design. Although now the victims of Israel’s genocidal ‘fascist theocracy’, to quote one commentator, their future lies in their own hands and those of their leadership – not that of President Biden and Israel.

For the past 75 years+ the Palestinian experience of life has been tempered by violent death at the hands of Israel, wars of conquest and occupation, the reality of exile and the theft of their land and heritage – all engendered by the Zionist ideological variant of settler colonialism which splits families asunder, disperses them across the globe or leaves them refugees in their own land.

Scottish Friends of Palestine acknowledge their experience and respects the decisions made by the Palestinian people.

Scottish Friends of Palestine utterly condemns the State of Israel for the continuing genocidal actions against the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip. That it has failed to learn from history and the travails of the Jewish people is a matter of deep regret.


. . . it has become apparent that consideration of “facts on the ground” resulting from the attack carried out by Hamas on the 7th October – and the response of the Israeli military machine – more than suggests a high level propaganda exercise on the part of those with most to lose by revealing the truth viz Netanyahu and his cabal of racist, genocidal murderers. No more is this apparent than from the accounts of events from those Jewish Israelis caught up in the Hamas attack together with a sober analysis of the nature of the destruction left behind. This can be found in the following articles:

Please note that the QR code appended at the end of this list gives access to this position paper and the links to the following Appendix articles. This gives access to the full content of the articles. Those with no QR scanner on their phone should contact Scottish Friends of Palestine at info@scottish-friends-of-palestine.org requesting that a copy of the position paper be emailed so that the links to the full content of each article can be accessed.

Middle East Monitor: https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20231030-report-7-october-testimonies-strikes-major-blow-to-israeli-narrative/amp/

Electronic Intifada: https://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-forces-shot-their-own-civilians-kibbutz-survivor-says/38861

Electronic Intifada: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-admits-burning-hundreds-people-7-october

Grayzone: https://thegrayzone.com/2023/10/27/israels-military-shelled-burning-tanks-helicopters/

Why is the real story of October 7 off-limits to western, but not Israeli, media? Jonathan Cook 18/01/2024 Israeli army ‘ethics’ chief says crimes committed by soldiers against Israel’s own civilians are ‘horrifying’. How is this not newsworthy for British journalists? Read morehttps://jonathancook.substack.com/p/why-is-the-real-story-of-october

Israeli army ordered mass Hannibal Directive on 7 Oct The Cradle 11/01/24

An investigation from Israel’s leading newspaper indicates Israel deliberately killed many of its own civilians and soldiers during Hamas’ Operation Al-Aqsa Flood to prevent them being taken captive back to Gaza Read more: https://thecradle.co/articles-id/18512

No proof Palestinian fighters ‘beheaded’ babies Dave Reed M/Weiss 11/10/2023

Journalists spread unverified claimsAli Abubimah EI 12/10/2023

As the latest atrocity stories have spread, Sarah Leah Whitson, the former Middle East director for Human Rights Watch, warned, “unless you’ve got some hard facts (not more allegations) to support gruesome allegations of decapitated babies and mass rape – which [the] Israeli army says it can’t confirm – please take a pause from asserting it has happened.” Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/biden-lied-about-seeing-photos-beheaded-israeli-children

Reports indicate Israeli forces responsible for Israeli civilian and military deaths Anon M/weiss 22/10/23

Many details of what transpired on October 7 continue to be shrouded in mystery, including how the 1,200 [figure is updated although, apparently, only the names of c900 victims have been made available] Israelis who died were killed. A growing number of reports indicate the Israeli military was responsible for civilian and military deaths.

Read more: https://mondoweiss.net/2023/10/a-growing-number-of-reports-indicate-israeli-forces-responsible-for-israeli-civilian-and-military-deaths-following-october-7-attack/?ml_recipient=102839795195053564&ml_link=102839789444663075&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=2023-11-14&utm_campaign=Daily+Headlines+-+Oct+23+-+Manual

Israel furious that elderly captive spoke of humane treatment by Hamas Ali Abunimah EI 24/10/2023 Israeli propaganda officials are reportedly upset because elderly Israeli woman Yocheved Lifshitz said that she was treated well while she was detained by Hamas in Gaza over the last two weeks. “I’m hearing criticism from sources dealing with Israeli hasbara in recent days. The fact that they allowed Yocheved Lifshitz to make a statement on a live broadcast was a mistake,” Amichai Stein, a journalist with Israel’s state broadcaster Kan, tweeted on Tuesday. Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-furious-elderly-captive-spoke-humane-treatment-hamas

Pilots kill their own civilians Ali Abunimah EI 11/11/2023

“The pilots realized that there was tremendous difficulty in distinguishing within the occupied outposts and settlements who was a terrorist and who was a soldier or civilian … The rate of fire against the thousands of terrorists was tremendous at first, and only at a certain point, did the pilots begin to slow down the attacks and carefully select the targets.” Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/shoot-everything-how-israeli-pilots-killed-their-own-civilians?utm_source=EI+readers&utm_campaign=8fa4a0d108-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e802a7602d-8fa4a0d108-299228964

Israel admits burning hundreds of people on 7 Oct Ali Abunimah EI 17/11/23

“We originally said, in the atrocious Hamas attack upon our people on October 7th, we had the number at 1,400 casualties and now we’ve revised that down to 1,200 because we understood that we’d overestimated, we made a mistake. There were actually bodies that were so badly burnt we thought they were ours, in the end apparently they were Hamas terrorists.” . . . The question is: who burned them? Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israel-admits-burning-hundreds-people-7-october

Israeli helicopter shot civilians Ali Abunimah EI 19/11/2023

Israeli investigators have concluded that Hamas fighters who crossed the boundary from Gaza that day had no prior knowledge of the music festival held near Kibbutz Re’im, an Israeli colonial settlement a few kilometers east of Gaza, the Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz reported on Saturday. “According to a police source, the investigation also shows that an IDF combat helicopter that arrived to the scene and fired at terrorists there apparently also hit some festival participants,” Haaretz states. It does not indicate how many of the festival goers were killed or injured by the helicopter. The police investigation reported by Haaretz appears to be the first direct Israeli official acknowledgment that Israeli forces killed some of their own civilians on and after 7 October. Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/israeli-helicopter-shot-civilians-7-october-rave-police-find

The evidence Israel killed its own citizens Asa Winstanley EI 23/11/2023

A retired Israeli army major has admitted Israel probably killed some of the 1,200 Israelis the government claims Hamas murdered on 7 October. The confession, discovered by The Electronic Intifada, is one of the highest level confirmations to date that Israel killed many, if not most, of the civilians that died during the Palestinian offensive. On Saturday, it was revealed that an official Israel source had concluded for the first time that Israeli fire hit at least some Israelis. Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/content/evidence-israel-killed-its-own-citizens-7-october/41156

Israeli child “burned completely” by Israeli tank fire A Abunimah & D Sheen EI 25/11/2023 An Israeli child completely incinerated at Kibbutz Be’eri was killed by two tank shells shot by Israeli forces at the end of an hours-long gun battle, a survivor of the same carnage told the Israeli state broadcaster Kan earlier this month. Yasmin Porat, taken captive with at least a dozen other Israeli civilians on 7 October, told Kan radio that a fellow captive, 12-year-old Liel Hatsroni, survived to the end of the battle and only died when Israeli forces fired two tank shells at the house where they were held hostage by Hamas fighters.. . . Meanwhile, Hatsroni’s death is being used by Israeli politicians to incite and justify Israel’s vengeful slaughter of thousands of Palestinian children in Gaza. Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/content/israeli-child-burned-completely-israeli-tank-fire-kibbutz/41706

What the BBC fails to tell you Jonathan Cook EI 02/11/2023 . . . the BBC is studiously failing to report, despite mounting evidence from a variety of sources, including the Israeli media. Instead the BBC is sticking resolutely to a narrative crafted for them, and the rest of the western media, by the Israeli military: that Hamas alone caused all this destruction. Simply repeating that narrative without any caveats has by now reached the level of journalistic malpractice. And yet that is precisely what the BBC does night after night. Read more: https://www.jonathan-cook.net/blog/2023-11-02/bbc-october-7/

Sexual violence report renounced – reporters manipulated them The Short String NY Times 03/01/2024 On December 28, the New York Times published an “investigative” report on gender-based violence allegedly committed by Palestinians during the October 7 attack. . . . The story concludes that Hamas fighters engaged in systematic rape and sexual violence against Israeli women. Read more: https://mondoweiss.net/2024/01/family-of-key-case-in-new-york-times-october-7-sexual-violence-report-renounces-story-says-reporters-manipulated-them/?ml_recipient=109450929041835110&ml_link=109450825113273949&utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_term=2024-01-14&utm_campaign=Daily+Headlines+RSS+Automation

NY Times revives rape propaganda Nora Barrows-Friedman EI 04/01/2024

“This is still a genocidal propaganda campaign, not based on any credible evidence, and I hope to show that,” Ali told us. Over the next hour, Ali unpacked some of the key themes “which help us understand this sophisticated piece of war propaganda and how it’s constructed, and I think will also be tools for people to start to deconstruct other pieces of war propaganda.” Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/nora-barrows-friedman/day-89-roundtable-ny-times-revives-israels-rape-propaganda


NY Times “investigation” of mass rape by Hamas falls apart Ali Abunimah EI 09/01/2024

But Abdush’s family have repudiated this claim, saying that there is no evidence she was raped. They say they were manipulated by The New York Times and had no idea the newspaper was going to use their loved one to further the rape narrative despite the lack of any evidence that it occurred. The distortions and manipulations in this article are now reportedly causing “growing concern” even within the newsroom of The New York Times, a private newspaper that has long-functioned as a semi-official mouthpiece for the US government and intelligence agencies, most notoriously its laundering of their lies about Iraq possessing weapons of mass destruction. Read more: https://electronicintifada.net/blogs/ali-abunimah/watch-ny-times-investigation-mass-rape-hamas-falls-apart

How Israeli forces trapped and killed ravers at the Nova Festival William Van Wagenen The Cradle 12/01/2024 Israeli officials allege that Hamas carried out a pre-mediated and carefully executed massacre of 364 Israeli civilians at the Nova music festival near Gaza on 7 October as part of the Palestinian resistance’s Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. They claim that Hamas and other Palestinians had hours to murder Israeli partygoers before the army reached the scene. However, new details have emerged showing that Israel’s Border Police was deployed at the Nova site before Hamas stumbled on the festival, causing the eruption of a major battle. Read more: https://new.thecradle.co/articles-id/18526?fbclid=IwAR2qxwkg77NlPwxhDKT4kF19gzbIiLLOMiTBIYxvO0tgfGHdWkKlLx6CP0k

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