IDF heard about Hamas invasion a week before October 7th, security head reveals

The security head of the Nova music festival received a warning about an invasion and passed it on to IDF authorities.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

The head of security at the Nova dance rave received a warning a week before the Hamas attack that there could be a major invasion but had been brushed off when he passed it on to IDF authorities, he revealed to Channel 14 Monday evening.

Elkana Federman told the journalists in the studio, “I had a guard at the festival who had served in the Re’im Division [near Gaza border], and a week before the festival he sent me a voice message … basically warning me, saying, ‘Elkana, something is going to happen over Sukkot. I just wanted to let you know, there are a lot of warnings. As the whole country knows, the situation in the Gaza envelope isn’t the greatest, so I said I’d warn you so you could be ready. I don’t know what will happen, maybe something will happen, and maybe not.’ He spoke with me like that, in codes.”

Federman decided not to keep the information to himself.

“I passed the voice message on, and they told me everything was all right, that the army would be able to handle whatever needed to be handled and that there were always alerts and that everything was fine. I did my part,” he said with a grimace. “I’m just a security officer, not a high army guy who can change something in my purview.”

When hundreds of Hamas terrorists descended on the festival site at Re’im on October 7, Federman threw himself into action together with other security personnel. Careening through the site on ATVs, they evacuated wounded partygoers to on-site ambulances, and then at one point an injured soldier gave him his weapon and he began actively fighting the terrorists.

Only when he was shot in his thigh and had six bullets left in a handgun he took from a dead police officer after the M16 was empty, did he try to make a run for it, with terrorists shooting at him from all directions.

“Miraculously,” he said, he made it across a field and hid in some bushes “for six and a half to eight hours,” pressing down on the wound so he wouldn’t bleed out, until he was found and taken to the hospital.

Lying in the hospital, he said he called the guard, who served in the IDF as a driver along the Gaza border, to ask about the voice message he’d sent.

“You were speaking in codes. Tell me exactly what they showed you,” Federman said he asked the guard. “He told me ‘Elkana, they told me there was going to be an invasion, and that they were planning to take over settlements. I just wasn’t allowed to tell you that.’ And that’s what happened.”

Read  IDF airstrike eliminates top Hamas rocket unit commander

It’s not clear who were the “they” that passed the information to the guard and why they told the guard not to reveal it.

Federman said he wanted to reveal the warning he’d received from the guard because “justice has to be done.”

“If he knew what he knew, a driver on the Gaza border,” Federman pointed out, “what did those above him know? Because he’s a small screw in the system.”

A group of 42 injured Nova survivors filed an 200 million shekel lawsuit last month against the IDF, Shabak, Israel Police and the Defense Ministry for failing to tell the festival organizers to cancel the event.

“A single phone call by IDF officials to the person responsible for the party to disperse it immediately in view of the expected danger would have saved lives and prevented the physical and mental injuries of hundreds of partygoers, including the plaintiffs,” the lawsuit said. “The negligence and the gross oversight is beyond belief.”

More than 360 people were gunned down and in some cases burned alive, with many women being brutally raped prior to their murder, in what was by far the largest single massacre during the brutal Hamas attack on October 7th..

Read  Israelis brace for the 'big war' in the north

Federman himself feels personally responsible for six guards who were among the dozens abducted from the festival that the Hamas terrorists are still holding captive, along with over a hundred others taken from the kibbutzim they invaded.

They are his friends, he recruited them for the job, he said, “and as long as they’re still inside, I can’t continue on with my life.”

He has already fought twice in Gaza for brief periods after being wounded in Re’im, and is searching for a way back to keep doing his part, he said, until a complete victory over Hamas is achieved.