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  • Eli Katzoff

The house is burning

With almost a quarter of its population either kidnapped or murdered, Kibbutz Nir Oz was one of the most horrific sites of Hamas’s October 7th massacre. On that tragic day, the Nir Oz community engaged in a large, desperate group chat that created a record of the massacre as it unfolded. Combining poignant sections of that text chain with vivid imagery of the aftermath, the above video presents a moment-by-moment summation of the experience of the Nir Oz community on that horrific day.

When I filmed the above video I had the opportunity to speak to an amazing couple who lives at Nir Oz. This was their first time back at the Kibbutz since the October 7th attacks and their insights and experiences I found to be both telling and inspiring. While I included some moments of them in the above video, the entirety of what they had to say simply did not fit into a 5 minute video. So I've gone ahead and created a second small video with just some some poignant moments and strung it together for you to see.

While the main video certainly gives an overview of how Kibbutz Nir Oz looks right now, it can be a bit difficult to really see and understand what the burned out houses truly resemble. This is in part because so much of the screen is taken up by the powerful text chat of the community. The video below is a simple walkthrough of one of these burned out houses.

Finally, to truly understand the scope of the attack I took a look at an entire row of buildings inside Kibbutz. I'll let the video's narration explain the rest but there are two points worth making here. One is that the horrific aftermath you see depicted at the end of the below video is not unique to this row of buildings. It's just one of many examples that I saw at the Kibbutz. And the second was that what became so clear to me over the course of my visit was that the Hamas terrorists most of the time burned down the houses where they either didn't find anyone or couldn't get to the people inside. Please be advised that the below video contains some difficult imagery. And while it is hard to see, I also think it is important to see.


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