American news broadcaster NBC published documents on Saturday recovered from Hamas terrorists killed in southern Israel that show detailed plans to target children and young people from Sa'ad, a religious kibbutz in the Negev desert.
The documents included everything from maps specifying the location of kindergartens and schools, plans for how many to kill and take hostage, as well as detailed escape plans. Although schools in Israel are closed on Saturdays, many Israeli children play in the basketball or soccer courts at the schools.
The documents labeled "top secret" were given to NBC reporters by Israeli first responders.
Documents also contained orders for two highly trained Hamas terror units to surround and infiltrate villages and target places where civilians, especially locations where children are likely to be.
The documents include orders such as "kill as many as possible" and "capture hostages."
The documents describe maneuvers and tactics similar to those seen on video during attacks on the town.
The discoveries refute claims by Hamas that the massacre was committed by Gazan civilians, showing instead that Hamas planned this attack meticulously and carefully, with one Israeli defense source telling NBC, "the level of specificity would cause anyone in the intelligence field's jaw to drop."
Another official told NBC he was astounded by the degree of planning that went into ensuring maximum civilian casualties. He said, "I've never seen this kind of detailed planning" for a mass terrorist attack.
Some of the details are exactly how the vehicles should drive to the target villages, the length of the platoon train, and the shape and length of each group on the motorbikes.
The wider group of documents showed that Hamas had been systematically gathering intelligence on each kibbutz bordering Gaza and creating specific plans of attack for each town, including the intentional targeting of women and children.
Israeli officials are currently in the process of analyzing and investigating the documents.