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ZAKA Emergency Response and Rescue Chief, Yossi Landau
Hamas Hamas Hostages Israel

Torture and Massacre in Kibbutz Bari – ZAKA Emergency Response and Rescue Chief, Yossi Landau describes Hamas’ brutal attacks

Warning: This article contains details that some readers may find disturbing

The Israeli-is NGO conference, which took place on Tuesday 17 October at the Jerusalem Press Club / Mishkenot Sha’ananim Cultural Center, saw live testimonials from ZAKA volunteers who were the first civilian emergency responders to the 7 October attacks carried out by Hamas in the Gaza-border communities.

Yossi Landau – head of Israel’s emergency response and rescue team ZAKA, speaks first-hand to NSN to recount the horrific atrocities he witnessed.

The ZAKA chief recalled the most recent person to be found in the Kfar Aza kibbutz had been beheaded.

“We thought we finished but we came back now this morning after being a week around here, and we just pulled out a body over here – no head – you know it’s the worst.”

Body bags inside the Kfar Aza kibbutz. (Source: AP)

Landau described the horrifying scene he encountered when entering a residence in Kibbutz Be’eri, where a father, mother, and two children, aged six and seven, were discovered kneeling with their hands bound behind their backs.

“The bodies were tortured,” he said, before describing acts of shocking mutilation.

In captured footage, Hamas terrorists can be seen in front of the two children, removing the father’s eye, and cutting off the mother’s breast.

They cut the fingers off the seven-year-old boy, and the six-year-old girl, had her foot severed.

“Fingers being… Fingers being,” he said while fighting back tears. “All this happened, and by the end they all had a bullet [in their heads].”

A ZAKA volunteer reported that Hamas’ stomach-churning acts of brutality unfolded as the terrorists helped themselves to a meal the family had prepared in celebration of a Jewish holiday.

In another home, just two houses behind, a ZAKA volunteer confirmed reports that a pregnant woman had been found by Hamas terrorists, dissected with her stomach cut open and the foetus removed. The unborn child was left to die slowly out of his mother’s womb.

“We saw women with no clothes and hands tied to the back. We saw families… over here in this kibbutz I saw families with hands tied to the back, sitting parents and children, sitting one against the other, tortured and burnt alive. 

“We could see the bodies were telling the stories. You know they can’t talk but they were telling us their stories, they were crying together with us,” Landau said.

Other victims included approximately 270 young individuals who were gunned down and slaughtered at the Nova music festival as they attempted to flee from their attackers.

Yossi explained there were no signs of torture at the Nova festival, just a “mass killing”. Two weeks on, the ZAKA emergency rescue team are continuing to discover the remnants of individuals who desperately sought refuge.

“If they were hiding in a garbage can or something, [Hamas] threw in a grenade to make sure everyone was killed,” he says. “That’s a war crime for itself, and most of them, I would say 70 per cent, were shot in the back – that’s a war crime.”

Landau also described other atrocities, such as a naked and bound teenage girl who had been beheaded, and 20 individuals burned alive.

The task of identifying the deceased in Israel and understanding the circumstances of their deaths has been assigned to military forensic teams at an army base in central Israel.

These teams have uncovered substantial evidence of torture and brutal sexual assault among the victims of last week’s Hamas terrorist attacks in communities surrounding the Gaza Strip.

Isabella Egerton is a leading intelligence specialist and investigator focused on state led level security investigations. She has a proven track record in running complex multi-jurisdictional intelligence projects around the globe.