IDF Admits To Killing Elderly Hostage on October 7

Israel’s military admitted that it “failed to protect civilians” during its bungled response to Hamas’ October 7 assault

An elderly Israeli woman abducted by Hamas during the group’s surprise attack last year was likely gunned down by an IDF helicopter, an internal probe concluded. To date, Tel Aviv has offered few details about other captives who may have been killed in friendly fire incidents.

The 67-year-old resident of the Nir Oz Kibbutz, Efrat Katz, was taken hostage during Hamas’ assault last October. Footage of the kidnapping showed the woman stuffed into the bed of a truck alongside her daughter and two grandchildren.

In an internal Israeli military probe published on Friday, the IDF admitted it had “failed to protect civilians” during its response at Nir Oz.

“It appears that during the battles and the airstrikes, one of the combat helicopters that took part in the fighting fired at a vehicle that had terrorists in it, and, in retrospect, according to the evidence, it turned out that there were also hostages in it,” the probe concluded. “As a result of the shooting, most of the terrorists manning the vehicles were killed, and apparently the late Efrat Katz.”

However, the military went on to say that because the captives could not be distinguished from Hamas fighters, the helicopter crew was not to blame for the woman’s death. From the perspective of the airmen, the report said, they were merely “shooting at a vehicle with terrorists.”

Katz’s daughter and two grandchildren survived the attack and were later released as part of a November hostage deal with Hamas, according to Al Jazeera. More than 200 people were taken captive by the armed group on October 7, with around half freed under the exchange agreed last year.

Will Porter is assistant news editor at the Libertarian Institute and a regular contributor at Find more of his work at Consortium News and ZeroHedge.