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The Oct. 7 Hamas attack at the Tribe of Nova music festival that killed 260 people was well documented by the media and confirmed by world leaders.
Reports were substantiated by images and videos of shootings at the festival grounds.
Editor’s note: This story contains references and links to graphic images and videos.
An Instagram video seeking to disprove reports of violence in the Oct. 7 Gaza attack on Israel claimed that accounts of a mass shooting at an Israeli music festival are false.
"Two-hundred-fifty people were killed at a concert: False," the video’s narrator said in the Oct. 10 post as words stating the same appeared on the screen.
"The only videos we have seen are people running away from the concert," he continued. "There isn't a single video or photo suggesting that 250 people were killed at a concert or that a mass shooting took place."
But that’s wrong.
This post was flagged as part of Meta’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Meta, which owns Facebook and Instagram.)
In a large-scale assault against Israel, Hamas militants opened fire at the Tribe of Nova Festival near the Gaza-Israel border on Oct. 7. About 3,500 people attended the two-day trance music festival, billed as an event celebrating "friends, love and infinite freedom." People had been dancing through the night when the rockets began firing right before dawn.
Israeli rescue service Zaka said 260 bodies were recovered at the festival site. Some Israelis were taken hostage. Many festival attendees hid in nearby orchards and bushes waiting to get rescued, and survivors said Hamas militants were hunting them down for hours as they tried to flee.
Heads of state also confirmed the attack and deaths. The leaders of France, Germany, Itay, the United Kingdom and the U.S. issued an Oct. 9 statement condemning the slaughter of "over 200 young people enjoying a music festival." In an Oct. 10 speech, President Joe Biden condemned the massacre of young people attending the festival "to celebrate peace."
And contrary to the video’s claims, there are numerous images and videos showing the shootings at the festival grounds.
The Instagram video claimed that the only videos from the concert show people running away. As part of its evidence, it shows a clip of people running in the desert. But in a fuller video clip from that moment gunshots can be heard in the background.
Dash cam video, media and concertgoers also captured videos showing lifeless bodies by a van, men shooting people around a car, and a Hamas fighter shooting at a car escaping from the festival grounds.
Another video shows people running across a field while gunshots are being fired.
CNN Chief International Correspondent Clarissa Ward reported that the government released a photo of scores of body bags in a tent, their identities yet to be determined.
The Instagram video also sought to discount two other reports about the conflict that have captured attention — that 40 babies had been beheaded and that people had been raped.
The report about babies being beheaded originated with a reporter who said she heard the allegations from Israeli soldiers. Israeli Defense Forces has not confirmed this report, nor have U.S. officials. Hamas has denied it. There have been a number of state reports, however, about violence against babies and children. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office shared Oct. 12 photos of babies it said were "murdered and burned" by Hamas.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during an Oct. 12 press conference that he had viewed gruesome war images from Israel and they included documentation of "an infant riddled with bullets."
When asked about the authenticity of the images of dead children shared by Netanyahu, U.S. White House National Security Council Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said Oct. 12, "I don’t think we’re in the business of having to validate or approve those kinds of images. They’re from the prime minister of Israel, and we have no reason to doubt their authenticity."
Regarding whether people were raped during the attack, Netanyahu on Oct. 11 described atrocities committed by Hamas and said men and women were "burned alive" and young women were "raped and slaughtered." An Israeli official also said women were raped. Biden referenced rape as well in his comments.
There is ample evidence, including numerous videos and photos, and official reports substantiating that 260 people were killed at an Israeli music festival during the Hamas attack Oct. 7. We rate the claim that it did not happen Pants on Fire.
PolitiFact Staff Writer Sara Swann contributed to this report.
Instagram post, Oct. 10, 2023
The Associated Press, Israeli survivors recount terror at music festival, where Hamas militants killed at least 260, updated Oct. 9, 2023
CNN, Desert horror: Music festival goers heard rockets, then Gaza militants fired on them and took hostages, updated Oct. 9, 2023
CNN, Israel is at war with Hamas. Here’s what to know, updated Oct. 12, 2023
Al Jazeera, What to know about the deadly Hamas attack on an Israeli music festival, Oct. 10, 2023
The Washington Post, How a night of dancing and revelry in Israel turned into a massacre, Oct. 8, 2023
The White House, Joint Statement on Israel, Oct. 9, 2023
The White House, Remarks by President Biden on the Terrorist Attacks in Israel, Oct. 10, 2023
BBC News, Israeli music festival: 260 bodies recovered from site where people fled in hail of bullets, Oct. 8, 2023
The Independent, Timeline of the Hamas attack on the music festival that left hundreds dead in Israel, Oct. 13, 2023
WSJ, How Hamas Turned an Israeli Music Festival Into a Massacre, Oct. 11, 2023
PBS Newshour, Survivors of Hamas assault on music fest describe horrors and how they made it out alive, Oct. 10, 2023
Reuters YouTube video, Video captures moment Hamas attack desert festival, Oct. 9, 2023
i24 News, 'It smells of death here': Surveying the atrocities committed by Hamas in Kfar Aza, Oct. 10, 2023
U.S. Defense Department, Secretary Antony J. Blinken At a Press Availability, Remarks, Oct. 12, 2023
The White House YouTube stream, 10/12/23: Press Briefing by Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, Oct. 12, 2023
PBS Newshour, Israel’s Netanyahu says Hamas militants beheaded soldiers, raped women in their attack on Israel, Oct. 12, 2023
MSNBC, Israeli official confirms women were raped during Hamas attack, Oct. 10, 2023
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