On October 7, Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel.
Over a month later, people are missing and bodies are still being identified.
Photos show the devastation left behind after the attacks.
Content note: This article contains violent and graphic imagery.
What do you take with you in case of a fire?
The question prompts quick thinking and a quick inventory of the things that are most important in life: phones, wallets, photo albums. For many asking that hypothetical, the decision never has to be made.
But when the hypothetical becomes a reality, the luxury of taking time to think about what to take vanishes.
On October 7, 2023, Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel throughout 22 different border communities that killed 1,400 and left 200 taken hostage. In response, Israel launched a series of air strikes and, more recently, a ground invasion of Gaza that has killed more than 10,000 Palestinians, according to the latest toll by the Gaza health ministry.
A little over a month since the initial attacks, communities are still identifying bodies and holding funerals every day.
Photos from some of the communities attacked by Hamas fighters show what residents left behind.
In addition to the Re'im music festival, Hamas attacked 22 other communities near the Gaza border.
Hamas assailants went door-to-door in attempts to break into homes, residents told local media.
Residents could hear gunshots and doors being broken down as Hamas militants made their way through towns.
One mother said she could hear gunshots over the phone while trying to check on her children at home.
"I heard terrorists speaking in Arabic to my teenagers. And the youngest saying to them 'I'm too young to go,'" the mother told CNN. "And the phone went off, the line went off. That was the last time I heard from them."
Videos of the attacks show women and children being removed from homes and put into trucks.
Families were told to go to their safe rooms to protect themselves from roaming assailants.
As one mother waited in a safe room with her children, her husband fought in the streets alongside other armed residents, Insider previously reported.
Many homes in Israel built after 1993 were built with safe rooms.
Those who couldn't make it to saferooms were either taken hostage or killed.
In some instances, Hamas militants would leave homes only to return later.
First-hand accounts of the Hamas attacks were crowdsourced by October7.org, a website created by Raz Elipsur and Adi Clinton for survivors to tell their stories.
Houses in Kibbutz Be'eri, a town near the Israel-Gaza border, were burnt.
When residents tried to escape the heat and smoke indoors, Hamas militants shot them.
Even the kindergarten in Kibbutz Be'eri wasn't spared.
Kibbutz Be'eri is a small community of about 1,100 people only a few minute's drive from Gaza.
On October 7, Hamas killed 120 members of the community and kidnapped others.
Bombs flying in and soldiers marching through the streets outside left families separated.
Tom Hand's daughter was at a sleepover when the attacks started at 6:30 a.m. The sirens, a common occurrence in Be'eri because of its proximity to Gaza, went off and Hand remained unfazed. Once he heard gunshots, he realized things had taken a turn for the worst.
"Until I heard the shots. And it was already too late," Hand, a resident of Kibbutz Be'eri, told CNN. "If I had known, I could have maybe ran, got her, got her friend, got the mother, brought them back to my place. But by the time I realized what was happening, it was already too late."
While residents hid in safe rooms, Hamas militants tore through homes.
Not all families who hid in safe rooms were safe.
In one instance in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, Simcha Dizengoff, a first responder with the Zaka emergency response service, found the burnt bodies of two adults, two children, and their grandmother in the safe room.
The family had huddled together for safety, and their bodies couldn't be separated into different body bags.
Kibbutz Nir Oz lost a quarter of their population.
In Nir Oz, Hamas also lit homes on fire.
In one re-telling of a story in The Atlantic, Adva Adar, a resident of Nir Oz, recalls texting with her grandmother, another resident of Nir Oz, from the beginning of the attack at 6 pm to the next morning at 9 am.
The last message from her grandmother read: "You wouldn't believe it, but they had started to enter the houses."
Kibbutz Kfar Aza, a small farming town of 750 people, is only 3 kilometers from Gaza.
Families hid in safe rooms for more than 20 hours while they waited for the IDF to arrive, The New York Times reported.
Hamas gunmen used an earthmover to break through the fence into Kfar Aza. A military spokesperson estimated that about 70 gunmen entered the community that day.
A month after the attack, many Kibbutzim are still dealing with the horror of October 7.
In Kfar Aza, funerals are held daily as the dead are identified and returned to their families.
People are still missing, bodies have yet to be identified, and the trauma will last a lifetime.
Read the original article on Business Insider