Footage shot by Israeli Apache helicopters inside Israel on October 7, 2023

Haaretz confirms Grayzone reporting it dismissed as ‘conspiracy’ showing Israel killed own festivalgoers

Haaretz has yet to admit it jumped the gun when it dismissed The Grayzone’s Max Blumenthal as a ‘conspiracy theorist’ for documenting crucial evidence that Israeli forces killed Israelis on October 7. But new reports by the same outlet show we were right all along.

Israeli outlet Haaretz has acknowledged a police report confirmed partygoers at a festival three miles from the Gaza border were killed by the Israeli military on October 7, just two weeks after the publication accused Grayzone editor-in-chief Max Blumenthal of spreading “conspiracy theories” for reporting on the story.

In an article published November 19, Haaretz reporter Josh Breiner wrote that an official investigation into the deaths of Nova festival attendees “revealed that an IDF combat helicopter that arrived at the scene from the Ramat David base fired at the terrorists and apparently also hit some of the revelers who were there,” citing “a police source.”

The finding should come as little surprise to the liberal Israeli publication. On November 9, Haaretz released an audio interview with Israeli reserve pilot Col. Nof Erez, who said the Netanyahu administration likely invoked the notorious Hannibal Directive, which dictates that Israelis taken captive should be killed by the military rather than left in the hands of Palestinian militants.

“Hannibal Directive was probably deployed because once you detect a hostage situation, this is Hannibal,” Erez told the outlet in a recording published November 9.

“What we saw here was a mass Hannibal,” the pilot concludes.

The admission came just two days after Haaretz listed The Grayzone’s editor among those it accused of being “largely” responsible for the proliferation of “conspiracy theories.”

Pointing specifically to “a screenshot of a video denying the atrocities of October 7… From the X account of Max Blumenthal,” Haaretz’s Sami Cohen breathlessly denounced a recent exposé by Propaganda & Co which relied heavily on The Grayzone’s reporting: 

“Another video claims that the massacre at the rave near Kibbutz Re’im never took place” and that the deaths there merely “stemmed from an exchange of fire between the army and police on one side and Hamas on the other,” Cohen’s piece asserted.

“The deniers claim that Hamas was on its way to Israeli army bases, encountered police and army roadblocks, and the revelers who fled the party got caught in the crossfire,” the Haaretz writer scoffed.

But that is exactly what happened, according to Haaretz. As the November 19 piece explained, not only did an Israeli police investigation find that “military helicopter that fired at terrorists apparently also hit some revelers,” there is also “a growing assessment in the security establishment that the terrorists who carried out the massacre on October 7 did not know in advance about the Nova festival held near Kibbutz Ra’im.”

Israel warns press against friendly fire revelations, threatens foreign media

As the revelations spread across social media, the Israeli police issued a statement denying that Tel Aviv’s forces carried out the massacre and warned domestic outlets to “take responsibility for their publications and only base stories on official sources.” Israeli officials have sought to stifle coverage of their actions in Gaza, with newly-passed emergency regulations allowing police to crack down on critical reporters accused of “harming national morale.”

At least 50 Palestinian journalists have been killed since October 7 by Israeli airstrikes targeting media workers and their families. A petition signed by over 1200 journalists in early November noted that “Israel has blocked foreign press entry, heavily restricted telecommunications, and bombed press offices,” and that “some 50 media headquarters in Gaza have been hit” by Israeli forces which “explicitly warned newsrooms they ‘cannot guarantee’ the safety of their employees from airstrikes.”

Israel has blocked Lebanon’s Al Mayadeen from broadcasting in any territory under its control, and threatened to do the same to Qatari-based Al Jazeera.

Tel Aviv’s heavy restrictions on media efforts to cover its deadly siege extend to Gaza itself, with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria admitting that “as a condition to enter Gaza under IDF escort, outlets have to submit all materials and footage to the Israeli military for review prior to publication.”

But the suggestion that it was the Israeli military which bears responsibility for the Nova music festival killings — not Hamas, as both Tel Aviv and Washington have insisted for nearly six weeks — has largely been ignored by legacy media. As of publication, not a single mainstream outlet has acknowledged Haaretz’s confirmation of The Grayzone’s  disclosures.