An Israeli military helicopter shot civilians at the Supernova rave where Israel says 364 people were killed on 7 October.

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.

But in recent weeks evidence has been mounting that this is exactly what happened.

There is the key testimony of Yasmin Porat, an Israeli woman who survived a massacre by Israeli forces at Kibbutz Be’eri.

According to her account, many Israeli civilians were killed when Israeli forces opened fire with heavy weapons including tank shells at the small kibbutz house they were held by Palestinian fighters. Up to that point, Porat told Israel’s official broadcaster Kan, the Palestinian fighters had treated the Israeli civilians “humanely.”

And the Israeli air force has admitted that it sent up more than two dozen attack helicopters which fired huge amounts of heavy cannon shells and American-made Hellfire missiles on 7 October, even though in many cases the pilots could not tell Palestinians apart from Israeli civilians.

“The frequency of fire at the thousands of terrorists was enormous at the start, and only at a certain point did the pilots begin to slow their attacks and carefully choose the targets,” Israel’s Ynet reported last month, citing an Israeli air force investigation.

“Shoot at everything,” one squadron leader reportedly told his men.

Video released by the Israeli military shows helicopters targeting what appear to be civilian cars haphazardly – although at the time the video was released the army claimed it showed its aircraft shooting at “terrorists.”

And on Thursday, Israeli government spokesperson Mark Regev admitted – perhaps unintentionally – in an MSNBC interview that on 7 October Israeli forces burned to death hundreds of people in indiscriminate fire that did not distinguish Palestinian fighters from Israeli civilians.

Israel has never explained how Palestinian fighters armed only with light weapons could have caused the massive devastation seen in some settlements where houses were reduced to rubble, or burned hundreds of people to death beyond recognition.

These are, however, capabilities possessed and used by the Israeli forces who responded to the Hamas assault.

Israel’s recent reduction of its claimed death toll from 1,400 to “around 1,200” people has also raised doubts about its official narrative.

Ever since 7 October, there has been a growing body of evidence that a significant number of Israelis were killed by their own forces, both from the ground and the air.

Hamas has not denied that Israeli civilians were killed on 7 October, but it has denied that its fighters set out to kill civilians.

Determining who was responsible for the deaths would require a thorough, independent investigation which neither Israel’s international backers, nor the United Nations, has called for.

In support of Israel’s official narrative, Israeli officials and lobbyists have disseminated multiple false atrocity stories, including the notorious debunked tale – repeated by President Joe Biden – of dozens of beheaded Israeli babies.

While Israel has also claimed that Palestinians engaged in widescale and horrific sexual violence and rapes of Israeli women, authorities have provided only excuses for why they have come up with no forensic evidence confirming such attacks.

“Police Superintendent Dudi Katz said officers have collected more than 1,000 statements and more than 60,000 video clips related to the attacks that include accounts from people who reported seeing women raped,” CNN reported on Friday.

But Katz said that investigators do not have firsthand testimony and it is not clear whether any alleged rape victims survived, CNN added.

But Western governments and media have ignored the evidence that points to major gaps in Israel’s story.

They have preferred to stick with the official narrative that paints the Hamas fighters not as resistance warriors whose goal on 7 October was defeating the Israeli military’s vaunted Gaza division – which they did in spectacular fashion – but rather as bloodthirsty savages bent on murdering as many people as possible in the most gruesome ways.

Unverified, exaggerated and outright false accounts of Hamas atrocities have been used to incite and justify Israel’s ongoing genocide of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

Immediately after 7 October, Israel launched a propaganda campaign likening Hamas to ISIS.

While successful with Western governments and media, Tel Aviv’s propaganda campaign seems to have fallen flat with the general public, especially as Israel’s unrelenting slaughter of civilians in Gaza has overshadowed its attempts to position itself as the victim.

Remarkably, just 32 percent of Americans think the United States should back Israel as it destroys Gaza, down from an already modest 41 percent a month ago, according to a new Reuters/Ipsos poll.

By contrast, 39 percent of Americans want the United States to be a neutral mediator and 68 percent favor an immediate ceasefire, according to the survey.

While sorting out what really happened on 7 October has until now been left to a handful of independent publications like The Electronic Intifada, Saturday’s revelation in Haaretz is belatedly drawing international attention to the issue.

Prior to its article on Saturday, Haaretz itself had described reports that Israel was responsible for at least some Israeli civilian deaths on 7 October as “conspiracy theories” and “fake news campaigns.”

The Electronic Intifada

Cover Photograph: The site of the Supernova rave near Kibbutz Re’im. An Israeli police investigation has acknowledged that an undisclosed number of the 364 civilians Israeli authorities say died there on 7 October were shot by an Israeli combat helicopter. Ziv KorenPolaris