Social Media

Casualties or Friendly Fire: Revisiting October 7th in Light of New Evidence

Figures detailing Israeli casualties from the October 7 Hamas attack have revealed some interesting ratios. On 7 November, the official X (formerly Twitter) account of the state of Israel published a list of the names of the Israeli dead [1]. The single image was a continuous stream of names and titles of the deceased, but many of the victims are yet to be identified.


Once the list had been published on X, it was subject to much scrutiny from different journalists and commentators. Mario Nawfal for instance, host of the roundtable show with 1 million followers on X, highlighted a section of the image and pointed out how almost half of the names belonged to Israeli soldiers [2].

Our CCN data analytics team examined the image and estimated that there are 1046 total people named (depending on if the middle name is included). From those, we counted 302 military personnel, amounting to 28.9% of the total figures. Haaretz claims 1149 of the dead have been identified with 318 of those being military. Many may point to the inconsistencies in the reporting of these statistics. The tweet by Israel also claims that the image shows 1400+ names, yet the actual number is far below, demonstrating yet again that Israeli media ought to be taken with a pinch of salt.

An X user has also analyzed the Haaretz figures and stated that only 1 baby and 25 minors died among the total of 1149 identified [3]. This adds serious doubt to the claim of 40 beheaded babies which was widely reported at the beginning of the war.


Israel has provided a narrative of October 7th, which has Hamas fighters slaughtering all Israelis that they came across, burning houses and human bodies along the way. Yet if we examine the sources, including accounts from Israeli media, we arrive at a very different picture.

Israeli Television footage from October 7th shows a large number of buildings in the southern Israeli town of Be’eri completely demolished. The Israeli military personnel interviewed at the scene blamed the destruction of the buildings on Hamas fighters, who they say used rocket-propelled, and hand grenades. However, those weapons do not have the destructive capability to demolish entire multi-level buildings.

It has since been revealed within Israeli media sources that Israel’s armed forces were instructed to bombard Israeli residences and their own installations when they were besieged by combatants on October 7th. How many Israeli citizens said to have been “burned alive” were in fact killed by friendly fire?

Fresh accounts from Israeli observers of the unexpected assault on southern Israel on October 7th contribute to the burgeoning case that the Israeli military caused the demise of its own people in their efforts to eliminate Palestinian gunmen.

Tuval Escapa, part of the security unit at Kibbutz Be’eri, established a dedicated line to facilitate communication between the kibbutz inhabitants and the Israeli military. According to his statement to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, when the situation became increasingly dire, “the commanders in the field made difficult decisions – including shelling houses on their occupants in order to eliminate the terrorists along with the hostages.” [4]

Another article in Haaretz highlighted that the Israeli military had no choice but to ask for an airstrike on their own facility within the Erez Crossing to Gaza to counter the terrorists who had taken over [5]. The base housed Israeli Civil Administration officials and soldiers during the incident. These accounts suggest that directives were issued by the military’s high command to strike residences and other locations within Israel, even if it meant the loss of many Israeli lives.

It is not surprising that Israel would sacrifice their civilians for military means. In fact, it’s in the IDF’s legislative history. The Hannibal Directive, a highly controversial military protocol formerly employed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), was designed to prevent the capture of Israeli soldiers by enemy forces, even at the risk of endangering the life of the captured soldier. Instituted in the late 1980s and only made public in 2003, the directive sanctioned the use of substantial force to thwart abduction attempts, raising significant ethical and legal debates both within and outside Israel. In response to concerns and following several contentious incidents, the IDF officially rescinded the Hannibal Directive in 2017, shifting towards more restrained and precise tactics in dealing with such situations. This is only formally so, and the directive may still be resorted to should the situation require it.

During an interview with Israel Radio, Yasmin Port, an Israeli citizen, affirmed that the military unquestionably caused the deaths of multiple noncombatant Israelis during the armed conflicts with Hamas militants on October 7. “They eliminated everyone, including the hostages she said, in reference to the Israeli special forces.

As reported by Haaretz, the military managed to regain command of Be’eri by openly acknowledging that they had to shell the residences of Israelis who had been held captive [5]. The toll was devastating, with a minimum of 112 Be’eri residents losing their lives.

These reports from Israeli sources highlight the desperation and complete disregard for its own citizens, which caused a substantial number of civilian deaths that were then falsely attributed to Hamas.

To add fuel to the forest fire that is Israel’s lies, there has still been no evidence provided for the allegations of rape, beheading of babies and burning of bodies by Hamas since the start of the war which is now in its second month. Not only that, but the Times of Israel news outlet has claimed that the war has “made forensic determination impossible” for the rape allegations [6].

Even if we take Israel’s claims at face value, we can see the true scale of this “war”. IDF numbers reveal, at worst by rounding up, a 4:1 civilian-to-combatant ratio by Hamas. The Guardian reports that only “dozens” of Hamas fighters have been killed by the IDF in their bombing campaign while the health ministry of Gaza states that over 10,000 people have died in total. Even if 100 Hamas fighters were killed, the civilian-to-combatant ratio would be 100:1. This would make Israel’s response to October 7th, being generous by rounding down, 2500% or 25 times or more severe proportionally.

What we are seeing therefore is an Israeli military that is prepared to kill hundreds of civilians in a botched – and some might say feigned – attempt to eliminate Hamas militants. We are seeing glaring inconsistencies in a narrative that is evermore strained as the details of October 7th begin to be uncovered. Still, little if any evidence has been provided for many Israeli claims. It remains to be seen how Israel will, if at all, recover from this PR disaster.


[1] Israel [@Israel]. (2023, October 20). [Tweet]. Twitter.

[2] Nawfal, M. [@MarioNawfal]. (2023, October 21). [Tweet]. Twitter.

[3] UBERSOY1 [@UBERSOY1]. (2023, October 22). [Tweet]. Twitter.

[4] Haaretz. (2023, October 20). בקיבוצי העוטף מנסים להסתכל קדימה: “המטרה מול עיניי — לחזור הביתה” [In the surrounding kibbutzim, they try to look forward: “The goal in front of my eyes – to return home”]. Haaretz.

[5] Haaretz. (2023, October 20). Underprepared and Overconfident: Israel Failed to Spot the Signs of Impending Disaster. Haaretz.

[6] The Times of Israel. (2023, October 20). Amid War and Urgent Need to ID Bodies, Evidence of Hamas’s October 7 Rapes Slips Away. The Times of Israel.