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What happened during the massacre at Israel’s Kfar Aza kibbutz

Israel has claimed that babies and children were among those killed in Hamas attacks on Kfar Aza, a village near the border with Gaza.

On Tuesday, the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) took journalists on a tour through the community after it was recaptured from Hamas militants.

Reports emerged of houses fallen to rubble, the bodies of militants scattered among burnt-out cars and body bags of slain residents yet to be identified. Images from the village showed adult bodies strewn around the community.

The Israel account on X, formerly known as Twitter, shared a news report that described the incident as a “massacre” and claimed that 40 babies and young children were murdered, including beheadings. i has been unable to independently verify the claim.

Here’s what we know about what happened at Kfar Aza and where the claims have come from.

What happened at Kfar Aza?

Kfar Aza is one of more than 20 towns and villages attacked by Hamas militants on Saturday, according to the Israeli military.

The kibbutz – meaning a community of people who live and work together – is situated a few minutes down the road from the fence separating Israel from Gaza.

Before the attack, Kfar Aza – which translates to “Gaza village” in English – was a modestly prosperous place with a school, a synagogue and a population of more than 700 people.

The Israeli military led a group of journalists on a tour of the village on Tuesday, a day after retaking it from what they said was a group of about 70 Hamas fighters.

There were reports of the village gate being blasted open, front doors blown off their hinges, torched cars covered in bullet holes and mattresses splattered with blood.

A journalist from the Associated Press news agency reported seeing the bodies of around 20 militants on the ground and hundreds of Israeli soldiers patrolling the area, as the sound of explosions and gunfire could be heard in the distance.

What claims have been made?

Foreign reporters were briefed by senior Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) officers that babies had been found among the dead.

Major-General Itai Veruv, of the IDF, said: “It’s not a war, it’s not a battlefield. You see the babies, the mothers, the fathers in their bedrooms, in their protection rooms and how the terrorists killed them… it’s a massacre.”

On social media, the State of Israel’s official account shared a news broadcast claiming that babies and children were murdered in the kibbutz, with the comment: “40 babies murdered.”

In the clip, a journalist from Israeli-based television channel i24NEWS reported that the military does not have a “clear number” of the casualties, but soldiers have told her babies have been beheaded and families have been “gunned down in their beds”.

Other journalists on the tour said they were not shown any evidence of dead infants and i has been unable to independently verify the claims.

Images from the visit showed Israeli soldiers carrying body bags of the adult victims from the community.

The Israeli embassy in London was unable to confirm the claim that 40 babies had been murdered.

A consulate spokesman said: “We cannot confirm any numbers.

“What happened in Kibbutz Kfar Aza is a massacre in which women, children, toddlers and [the] elderly were brutally butchered in an Isis-like way of action.”

Is fighting ongoing?

The tour of Kfar Aza came as Israel continued its bombardment of the Gaza Strip in retaliation for the wave of Hamaz attacks.

Last night, the United Nations said there was “clear evidence” that war crimes had already been “committed by all sides”.

The death toll from Hamas’ attack on Saturday has reached more than 1,000 people, including 260 who were killed at the Supernova festival in southern Israel.

More than 900 people have been killed by strikes in Palestinian territories, according to the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza.



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