A detailed look at how Hamas secretly crossed into Israel

Videos paint a picture of the movements of Hamas militants on Oct. 7.

October 12, 2023, 12:19 PM

LONDON -- Hamas militants broke through Israel's complex border security systems with the morning of Oct. 7, attacking the neighboring towns, killing hundreds of people and taking at least 150 hostages.

ABC News' Visual Verification team has analyzed dozens of videos posted to social media by Hamas militants and found they form a picture of exactly where -- and how -- militants were able to breach the border fence and penetrate into surrounding towns.

Map of 6 verified points where fence between Gaza and Israel was breached
Google Earth / Canva

This map identifies six points on the Israel-Gaza border fence where video evidence confirms Hamas militants crossed over to Israel.

While the Israel Defense Forces have said there were between 20 and 30 entry points, these are the only ones that ABC News can confirm with video so far.

In the videos detailed below, they are on foot and on motorcycles, in white pickup trucks and on paragliders.

The towns named on the map are some of the nearest inhabited areas to these crossings and places where civilians and soldiers are confirmed to have been killed or taken hostage.

The coordinated attacks are nearly all filmed with the sun rising in the distance, indicating they were filmed around 6:40 a.m. when the sun rose on Saturday.

The videos that identify the six above locations paint a picture of the movements of Hamas militants on that morning.

Map of verified attacks on weapons bearing towers on Israel Gaza border
Google Earth / Hamas Military Media Handout / Canva

Before moving across the border, drone videos show attacks on towers along the border that were armed with weapons.

Three verifiable locations are shown on the map above. Additional video also shows attacks on observation and satellite towers along the border.

Map of Kerem Shalom border checkpoint and screengrabs of Hamas video of crossing at this location.
Google Earth / Hamas Military Media Handout / Canva

At the Kerem Shalom border checkpoint, in the far south of Gaza near the border with Egypt, militants can be seen on video crossing a hole in the fence both on foot and on motorcycles.

Small military outpost near Kerem Shalom
Hamas Military Media Handout

Videos then show them raiding a nearby military camp outside the kibbutz of Kerem Shalom where several bodies can be seen on the floor and inside rooms.

Images of Hamas militants crossing the Israel Gaza border at Erez Checkpoint.
Google Earth / Hamas Military Media Handout / Canva

At the other end of the border, at the very north of Gaza, militants stormed the Erez border checkpoint where dramatic video shows an explosion at the border wall before following armed Hamas militants as they enter the border facility and kill some of the soldiers there.

Another video from the Erez checkpoint shows the militants take hostages and lead them back through the wall and into Gaza.

Planet Labs PBC satellite imagery shows a before and after view of the border wall at the Erez Checkpoint
Planet Labs PBC

Satellite images from Planet Labs also show the before-and-after view where the wall was blown up to get across at the checkpoint.

People break through the Gaza Israel border fence near Nir Oz.
Google Earth / Hamas Military Media Handout

The breach of this fence was widely circulated on social media in the immediate aftermath of the incursion because of the capture of a tank near the hole in the fence and videos show the tank burning as Hamas militants pull a dazed soldier out of it.

Later on, a bulldozer arrived and created an even bigger hole in the fence as dozens of people can be seen going in and out at will.

Hamas militants gather at an open fence on the Israel Gaza border near the town of Kisufim.
Google Earth / Hamas Military Media / Handout

Here, as the sun rises on the horizon, images show militants approach a wide open fence near the kibbutz of Kisufim. This is also the nearest verified crossing point to Re’im, another town which suffered attacks.

Hamas militants gather at Israel Gaza border fence as the sun rises, Saturday October 7th.
Hamas Military Media Handout

Militants here are gathered in groups on the back of pickup trucks where one of the men can be seen running through the fence on foot before launching a missile from a handheld device.

Images from Hamas military videos show militants breaking through the Israel Gaza border fence near Be'eri
Hamas Military Media Handout

Just as the light begins to change, trucks can be seen inching toward holes in a second smaller fence in Gaza behind the main border fence near the kibbutz of Be’eri, where dozens of bodies were found.

Additionally, explosions at the fence show holes being made for easier passage and drone footage shows rockets being launched nearby as trucks then speed across fields on the Israeli side of the fence.

Militants break through the Israel Gaza border fence near Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza
Hamas Military Media Handout

Meanwhile, between Nahal Oz and Kfar Aza -- two towns devastated by the attack -- video shows the fence being broken open and dozens of men running across open fields as well as images of explosions at key towers and fence posts nearby that captures footage of a paraglider heading toward Israel.

This is the picture of only six of the different crossings made by Hamas militants on the morning of Oct. 7. However, up and down the Gaza border, evidence shows Hamas militants moving in a coordinated manner at sunrise to make it across Israel's defenses.

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