Euronews Senior International Correspondent Valerie Gauriat was granted access to Be’eri kibbutz in southern Israel where Hamas militants killed 130 people – 10 per cent of the population – and reportedly tortured, raped and mutilated their victims on 7 October.
Israeli search and rescue teams continue to find the bodies of people killed in a village several kilometres from where the military is preparing to launch a ground assault on the Gaza Strip.
Hamas fighters killed at least 130 people, including women and children, in the Be’eri kibbutz two weeks ago.
That figure equates to 10 per cent of the population or almost one in 10 inhabitants.
More than 100 residents are still missing; they are thought to be among the 200 people kidnapped by Hamas militants.
Euronews Senior International Correspondent Valerie Gauriat joined ZAKA International Rescue Unit volunteers who have been recovering the bodies of the dead in Be’eri.
Yossi Landau, ZAKA Southern Israel Commander, said the team members had given harrowing accounts of what they have seen which included evidence of arson, torture, mutilation and rape.
”The first house that we went in, we saw a couple – a father and mother, hands tied to the back, tortured and missing body parts – while they were alive. And the other side, two children, a six-year-old and a seven-year-old boy and girl, in the same position, tortured, in the middle is a table where the terrorists were sitting and eating a meal,” he said.
Rami Gold, a Be’eri resident, was among a small group of local men who defended the village from the Hamas fighters for 12 hours before Israeli troops arrived.
He said he knew many of the people killed that Saturday.
”Right now, we are burying them by the hour in a temporary cemetery in a nearby kibbutz, because we can’t bury them here,” he said.
Local authorities said at least 25 per cent of houses in Be’eri that were badly damaged during the Hamas attack would not be rebuilt.
With the Israeli ground offensive looming, they said it was unlikely those residents whose homes remain intact would return to the village anytime soon.