October 7th Massacre/Sderot

Sderot, a city of more than 30,000 people[1], was struck by rockets at 6:30 in the morning of October 7th.[2] Hamas gunmen entered the town and engaged in firefights with local police units and civilians.[3] Many civilians were murdered on the street and in homes in the surprise attack.[4][5] The residents of the city received instructions to lock the doors and windows of their homes, and not to open the door when knocked.[6]

On the same day, a group of 13 elderly people were on the way to a vacation in the Dead Sea. According to the report by two surviving individuals[citation needed], a wheel of their minibus was punctured on the way, so they stopped in Sderot. When they heard an alarm, they ran to a locked shelter and thus remained outdoors. The survivors describe two white vans containing gunmen who shot at them. One of the survivors reportedly lay on the ground near a woman who was shot, where he pretended to be dead. The second survivor from the group, a worker from Moldova named Nikolai, ran to the house of a local family after the first alarms, and stayed there for nearly 2 days.[7]

Reuven, a police volunteer testified about these events.[citation needed] After the first alarm, he reported seeing a minibus near the library with one wheel missing, and many old people near a locked shelter. After seeing a van shoot at them, he returned fire and survived. He later took shelter in another house before joining Shin Bet forces in the area. They reported witnessing dead bodies near the road and searching for attackers.[7]

Keren Roitman Hazan, a 35 year-old Sderot resident, said she heard the first alarms, which went on for 20 minutes, while preparing for her morning jog. She took videos of assailants riding in the city, as well as images of the elderly people murdered near the library, before taking shelter with her children. The following day, rockets hit the electricity and water infrastructure, with the cellular infrastructure already hit already the previous day.[citation needed] She therefore fled in their car with her children, instructing them to lower their heads below the window line and cover them with pillows. She testified to seeing many cars covered in blood and getting shot at while driving.[8]

Assailants also attacked the police station of Sderot, and there was heavy fighting. At one point the fighters from the police station reportedly called, saying, “we are both seriously injured, there are terrorists on the roof with us. We are in combat. We are out of ammunition.” The fighting intensified both on the roof and near the entrance of the police station, continuing for 24 hours,[citation needed] after which the assailants eventually took control of the police station. A decision was made[by whom?] to demolish the station, and a heavy exchange of fire[by whom?] started after a bulldozer started demolishing parts of the station. The station eventually caught fire. IDF tanks as well as other armored vehicles were brought[by whom?] to the area.[6]

It was suspected that the last terrorist in the station managed to escape,[6] and on the morning of October 8th, the mayor instructed residents to stay locked in their homes.[9] After the attackers were eliminated, Hamas continued firing rockets nonstop on Sderot.[citation needed] The residents were later evacuated to hotels in the Dead Sea, Eilat, and Jerusalem.[10]


  1. "Regional Statistics". www.cbs.gov.il. Retrieved 2024-05-08.
  2. Glazer, Hilo (20 October 2023). "A Handful of Israeli Officers Saved 90 New Recruits From Hamas Terrorists. They Paid With Their Lives". Haaretz. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/2023-10-20/ty-article-magazine/.premium/a-few-idf-officers-saved-90-trainees-from-hamas-terrorists-they-paid-with-their-lives/0000018b-4da2-dc3c-a5df-ddaadf370000. 
  3. "Footage emerges of 'gunmen in Sderot'". BBC. 7 October 2023. https://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-middle-east-67037808. 
  4. Awad, Ammar; Lubell, Maayan (2023-10-07). "Gunmen in homes, captives abducted leave Israelis in shock" (in en). Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/gunmen-homes-captives-abducted-gaza-leave-israelis-shock-2023-10-07/. 
  5. Ramsay, Stuart (9 October 2023). "Israel-Hamas War: Some escaped on foot, but many were killed or taken hostage - city left in shock". Sky News. Archived from the original on 9 October 2023. Retrieved 2023-10-09.
  6. a b c Turjeman, Meir; Temari, Liran; Tzuri, Matan (2023-10-08). "כ-20 שעות קרב בתחנת שדרות: הושגה שליטה מלאה, 10 מחבלים חוסלו". ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 2024-05-04.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  7. a b Shaulov, Ronnie Green (2023-11-09). "התמונה האחרונה של ניצולי השואה - רגע לפני הטבח בשדרות: "הרגו את כולם"". Ynet (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 2024-05-08. Retrieved 2024-05-08.
  8. "תושבת הדרום על אירועי השבת השחורה: "התנהלנו כמו בסיפור של אנה פרנק"". מעריב (in Hebrew). 2023-11-21. Retrieved 2024-05-14.
  9. ""יכול להיות שיש עוד מחבלים שהתחבאו ומחכים לתת לנו עוד מכה"". Mako (in Hebrew). 2023-10-08. Retrieved 2024-04-05.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  10. "תושבי שדרות מתפנים: "לילדים קשה, חוששים מהמחבלים - אבל נחזור ובגדול"". Walla. 2023-10-15. Archived from the original on 2023-12-04. Retrieved 2024-05-04.