The Nahal Oz attack was an assault on the kibbutz of Nahal Oz and the adjacent military base near the northern Gaza Strip on the morning of 7 October 2023 as part of a 2023 Hamas-led attack on Israel. In the attack, more than 60 Israeli soldiers and more than a dozen kibbutz residents were killed.[10][11][12] Some soldiers and residents were kidnapped and taken to the Gaza Strip.[2][13]

Nahal Oz attack
Part of the 2023 Hamas attack on Israel

A blood-stained home floor in the aftermath of the attack
Date7 October 2023
Location31°28′21″N 34°29′50″E / 31.47250°N 34.49722°E / 31.47250; 34.49722
Result Hamas victory[1][2]
 Hamas  Israel
Commanders and leaders
Hamas Wissam Farhat Israel Shilo Har-Even [3]
Units involved
Hamas Shujaiya Battalion[4] Israel Israeli Defence Forces
Hamas 20-100+ fighters[5][2] Israel 100+ soldiers[5]
Casualties and losses
Hamas Unknown Israel 66 soldiers killed[6][7]
Israel 6 soldiers missing[8][7]
Israel 6+ soldiers captured[9][7]
Israel 12+ civilian fatalities
Israel 20+ missing or captured civilians


Nahal Oz is a kibbutz situated in southern Israel, in the northwestern part of the Negev desert near the Gaza border. As of 2021, it had a population of 471 residents.[14] Founded in 1951, it was the first Nahal settlement in the country. By 1953, it transitioned into a civilian community. A significant event in its history occurred in 1956 when the kibbutz's security officer, Ro'i Rothberg, was killed by infiltrators from Gaza. His funeral witnessed a powerful eulogy by Moshe Dayan, then Chief of Staff, which emphasized the challenges faced by Israel and the constant threat from its neighbors.[citation needed]

Following the 2006 Lebanon War, a eulogy by novelist David Grossman for his son drew comparisons to Dayan's earlier eulogy. In 2014, a young resident, Daniel Tregerman, was killed by mortar fire from Gaza.[15]


At the military base

According to initial investigations, 40–50 militants infiltrated through the fence system and ran towards the military base near Nahal Oz.[16] The militants engaged in a brief battle with the guards at the gate, killed them and went inside, and soon destroyed a large part of the post and equipment within it. The soldiers at the post were surprised, and most of them were killed. In the war room, staff officers and observers entrenched themselves and tried to communicate with the forces and direct combat helicopters to the militant squads. A battalion commander and two platoon commanders exchanged fire with the militants outside the war room. This effort continued until the militants threw explosives inside and many were killed.[2][17]

At the time of the attack, 27 soldiers of Unit 414 of the Combat Intelligence Collection Corps were on duty at this base and were killed or captured by Hamas.[citation needed] Most Unit 414 soldiers at Nahal Oz were female.[7] Their duty was to conduct reconnaissance on the border with Gaza as well as to operate the remote-controlled gun turrets stationed on the Iron Wall. Most soldiers at Nahal Oz were not provided a handgun or rifle to defend themselves, despite their military outpost being less than a kilometer from Gaza. When Hamas attacked, the base only had a few combat soldiers stationed there. These soldiers were easily defeated. The unarmed Unit 414 soldiers hid in a bomb shelter and almost all of them were killed or captured. According to the Israel Defense Forces twenty Unit 414 soldiers were killed in action at the Nahal Oz base and six were reported missing.[18][19][20]

The attackers used a flammable substance, which also released toxic gases that caused suffocation within minutes.[1] As of 13 December 2023, the IDF investigation could not yet pinpoint the exact type of chemicals used.[1] Of the 22 troups taking shelter in the building housing the surveillance soldiers' command center, only seven managed to exit through a small bathroom window and survive the fumes.[1]

The 13th Battalion of the elite Golani Brigade suffered 41 killed, which was more fatalities than it suffered in the Six-Day War and Yom Kippur War combined. The battalion headquarters were at the military base at Nahal Oz, but many Golani soldiers were spread out across the Iron Wall and were not defending the base initially. The surveillance buildings at Nahal Oz and their computer equipment were destroyed within the first hour of the invasion.[21]

Inside the kibbutz

In parallel to the events at the Nahal Oz post, at least 20 and as many as 100 of the militants who carried out the surprise attack infiltrated Kibbutz Nahal Oz near northern Gaza Strip.[5][2] The militants broke into homes, kidnapped some kibbutz residents, and killed others. The kibbutz's security team responded and battled the militants for hours. The kibbutz security coordinator, Ilan Fiorentino, was killed in the fighting. In addition, a unit of Israel Border Police officers who had been posted to the area a week before arrived in the kibbutz and took part in the fighting. One of the Border Police officers on the scene, Yaakov Krasniansky, was killed while battling numerous militants; his body was found together with the bodies of five militants. Several other Border Police officers were wounded.[22]

At around 11:30am, approximately 100 Israeli soldiers from the Givati Brigade, originally destined for Sderot, diverted to Nahal Oz and arrived at the kibbutz.[5] The fighting continued until IDF reinforcements arrived and cleared the kibbutz and nearby army outpost of militants. In the kibbutz, troops went door to door, killing militants. As the kibbutz was cleared, civilians emerged from the safe rooms in their homes where they had been hiding. After regaining control of the kibbutz, the IDF continued to engage isolated attempts by militants to enter the kibbutz via motorcycles and vehicles. The extensive resistance likely prevented the massacre from reaching the scale of massacres that occurred in Nir Oz and Kfar Aza.[22][5]

Among the victims were Israel Hayom photographer Yaniv Zohar and most of his family,[12][10] Additionally Eden Nimri, an Israeli international-level swimmer.[23] As of 17 October, total losses were unknown, at least 12 residents were reported killed, and 20 missing, in addition to the guards and militants who died.[24]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d "Hamas used toxic substance to kill Nahal Oz troops on Oct. 7, IDF probe said to show" Archived 2023-12-17 at the Wayback Machine. For Times of Israel by TOI staff, 13 Dec 2023 (posted & accessed).
  2. ^ a b c d e McKernan, Bethan; Kierszenbaum, Quique (9 October 2023). "'They are in my house': kibbutz survivors tell of Hamas attack". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 16 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Julian, Hana Levi (2 December 2023). "IDF, Shin Bet Eliminate Hamas Shujaiya Battalion Commander". Jewish Press. Retrieved 16 January 2024.
  5. ^ a b c d e ben Kimon, Elisha (13 October 2023). "המשחררים של נחל עוז: קציני סיירת גבעתי מדברים על התופת והגבורה בקרב". Ynet (in Hebrew). Retrieved 6 January 2024.
  6. ^ . Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  7. ^ a b c d Lecker, Maya. "On October 7, Sexism in Israel's Military Turned Lethal". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 28 November 2023. Retrieved 29 November 2023.
  8. ^ . Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  9. ^ . Retrieved 25 February 2024.
  10. ^ a b "Yaniv Zohar, 54: News photographer and family murdered; son escaped". Archived from the original on 16 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  11. ^ Reporter, J. N. "Golda Meir's nephew murdered at Kibbutz Nahal Oz". Archived from the original on 16 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  12. ^ a b "Hamas murders Israel Hayom cameraman with wife, daughters". Archived from the original on 17 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  13. ^ חדשות (16 October 2023). "צה"ל: עדכנו את משפחותיהם של 199 חטופים". Ynet (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 16 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  14. ^ "Regional Statistics". Israel Central Bureau of Statistics. 2021
  15. ^ Tzuri, Matan (23 August 2014). "Israelis seek response from Messi: 'You were Daniel's Hero'". Ynetnews. Archived from the original on 8 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  16. ^ Beaule, Victoria. "A detailed look at how Hamas secretly crossed into Israel". ABC News. Archived from the original on 15 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  17. ^ "How it unfolded: Communities on Gaza border faced massacre, evacuation". The Jerusalem Post | 9 October 2023. Archived from the original on 15 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  18. ^ Fabian, Emanuel. "Authorities name 335 soldiers, 58 police officers killed in Gaza war". Archived from the original on 8 October 2023. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  19. ^ Крутов, Марк (11 October 2023). ""Она говорила, что будет война". Заложники с военной базы ЦАХАЛ". Радио Свобода (in Russian). Archived from the original on 3 November 2023. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  20. ^ ToI Staff. "Sgt. Roni Eshel, 19: Lookout soldier who warned of Hamas preparation". The Times of Israel. Archived from the original on 18 October 2023. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  21. ^ "המג"ד שאיבד 41 לוחמים ביום אחד: "חשבתי רק על היישובים" | חדשות 13". רשת 13 (in Hebrew). Archived from the original on 17 October 2023. Retrieved 3 November 2023.
  22. ^ a b Tibon, Amir (4 November 2023). "As We Hid in Our Safe Room, These Heroes Went Out to Save Our Kibbutz – and Never Returned". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 9 November 2023. Retrieved 21 November 2023.
  23. ^ Keith, Braden (10 October 2023). "Israeli International Swimmer Eden Nimri Killed in Fighting in Nahal Oz". SwimSwam. Archived from the original on 9 October 2023. Retrieved 16 October 2023.
  24. ^ "Retired Israeli general saves family after Hamas swarms home". NewsNation. 17 October 2023. Archived from the original on 17 October 2023. Retrieved 17 October 2023.