Hamas official storms out of BBC interview when asked about Israeli civilians killed

In conversation with UK broadcaster, Ghazi Hamad unwilling to explain why Israeli families were killed in their sleep, repeats lie that commanders instructed to only target IDF

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas's political bureau, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon, October 26, 2023. (AP/Bilal Hussein)
Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas's political bureau, speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Beirut, Lebanon, October 26, 2023. (AP/Bilal Hussein)

A senior Hamas official stormed out of a BBC interview on Thursday after he was asked how he justified killing Israeli civilians in their sleep.

Ghazi Hamad, a member of Hamas’s political bureau, was interviewed by BBC’s Middle East correspondent Hugo Bachega about the brutal killings of over 1,400 Israelis, most of them civilians, during the terror group’s October 7 onslaught.

Faced with harsh international condemnation as evidence gradually emerged of the barbarity with which they ordered the massacre of innocent people, Hamas leaders have repeatedly denied targeting civilians, claiming the group’s “policy” was to exclusively attack IDF forces around Gaza.

In his sit-down with the BBC correspondent, Hamad reiterated the terror group’s false mantra, claiming that the civilian deaths were the result of “confrontations” and not planned in advance.

“There was no command to kill any civilians,” Hamad said. “The area there is very wide, there are many people there, and there were clashes and confrontations.”

“It’s not confrontation, you invaded houses,” Bachega responded.

“I can tell you we did not have any intention or decision to kill civilians,” Hamad insisted.

“How do you justify killing people as they sleep, families?” the BBC journalist asked.

Faced with that question, Hamad pulled off the microphone attached to his jacket, threw it to the side, and said: “I want to stop this interview.”

Overwhelming evidence has emerged that the terror group, in preparation for the assault, instructed its members to murder Israeli civilians and take captives.

The Israeli government on Monday screened for 200 members of the foreign press some 43 minutes of harrowing scenes of murder, torture and decapitation from Hamas’s October 7 onslaught, including raw videos from the terrorists’ bodycams.

The government said it had decided to show journalists part of its collected documentation in order to dispel what a spokesperson characterized as “a Holocaust-denial-like phenomenon happening in real-time.”

The footage was collected from call recordings, security cameras, Hamas terrorists’ body cameras, victim dashboard cameras, Hamas and victims’ social media accounts, and cellphone videos taken by terrorists, victims and first responders.

The materials included a recording of a Hamas terrorist who took part in the slaughter bragging to his parents of slaughtering Jews. In the call, the man can be heard excitedly telling his parents that he is in Mefalsim, a kibbutz near the Gaza border, and that he alone killed 10 Jews. “Look how many I killed with my own hands! Your son killed Jews!” he says, according to an English translation.

A partially coded document found in a vehicle used by Hamas terrorists included instructions to burn homes, cars and fields, and contained a code term for “slaughter all captives,” according to the Kan broadcaster.

Apprehended Hamas members have revealed in interrogations they were ordered to carry out atrocities against Israeli civilians. In one video released by the Israel Defense Forces, a terrorist said that gunmen were given instructions to kill everyone they saw, including beheading victims and cutting off their legs.

View of the destruction caused by Hamas terrorist in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, southern Israel, October 15, 2023 (Edi Israel/Flash90)

Hamas, together with other terror groups, led the October 7 assault which saw some 2,500 terrorists break across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,400 people and seizing at least 233 hostages of all ages, under the cover of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.

Israel says it now intends to destroy the Iran-backed terror group’s infrastructure inside Gaza and has vowed to dismantle the organization while minimizing harm to Gaza’s civilians. The IDF has been calling on Palestinians to evacuate from northern Gaza southward, as it intensifies strikes in the Gaza City area.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry says the strikes have killed over 7,000 people, many of them children. The figures issued by the terror group cannot be independently verified, and are believed to include its own terrorists and gunmen killed in Israel and in Gaza, and the victims of what Israel says are hundreds of errant Palestinian rockets that have landed in the Strip since the war began.

Israel says it killed 1,500 Hamas terrorists inside Israel on and after October 7.

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