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 on southern Israel, in which over 1,400 people were killed, 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,” as doubts have been raised around the world about some of the most horrific of Hamas’s atrocities.
Journalists were not permitted to record the screening, which took place on a closed military base.
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. Over 1,000 civilians were slaughtered by the terrorists, and at least 224 people were abducted.
In one pair of videos that were screened, Hamas terrorists are seen dressed in IDF uniforms, flagging down passing cars and then shooting their occupants.
Dead bodies are dragged out of vehicles and left in the middle of the road after terrorists rifle through their belongings and in some cases steal the blood-soaked, bullet-ridden cars.
The IDF just screened 43 minutes of horrors from the Hamas massacre on October 7 for foreign journalists. I was not there, my colleague @cjkeller8 was.
Here is the one minute of footage approved for mass publication at this point, barring most of it out of respect for the dead. pic.twitter.com/UDmQSrkYBL
— Amy Spiro (@AmySpiro) October 23, 2023
In another video, first responders are seen pouring bottled water over still-smoldering bodies, hoping to snuff out the remaining embers.
In another, a man writhes on the ground, bleeding from his stomach, as a terrorist tries repeatedly to decapitate him with farming equipment. The man appears to be southeast Asian, possibly one of Israel’s foreign agricultural workers.
In another clip, from after the assault, an Israeli woman is seen trying to work out if a partially burned woman’s corpse, with a mutilated head, is that of a family member. The dead woman’s dress is pulled up to her waist and her underpants have been removed.
Major Gen. Mickey Edelstein, who briefed reporters after the viewing, said that “we have evidence” of rape but “we cannot share it,” declining to elaborate further.
In a two-part video segment recorded in two Israeli communities near the Gaza border, a home security camera shows a father scooping up his two young sons to run to their outdoor bomb shelter, the three of them just roused from their beds and all still in underwear.
Moments after they enter presumed safety, a hand appears onscreen, tossing a grenade in after the family. The father dies, and the boys exit, covered in his blood.
“Dad’s dead, it wasn’t a prank,” one says after they run back into their home. “I know, I saw it,” responds his brother, later screaming, “Why am I alive?”
In the second segment, captured through a call recording application on a victim’s phone, a different son reaches out to a different father. “Dad, I killed 10 with my bare hands,” the terrorist excitedly tells his father in Gaza. “Their blood is on my hands, let me speak to Mom.”
“Please be proud of me, Dad,” he adds.
The voice of evil.
A Hamas terrorist murders TEN JEWS and calls home to brag about it. He made the call using a phone belonging to one of those he killed.
— COGAT (@cogatonline) October 24, 2023
Identified by his father as Mahmoud, the terrorist says he is calling his family from the phone of a Jewish woman he’s just murdered, and implores them to check his WhatsApp messages for further documentation.
The military also pulled footage from within Gaza that was uploaded to social media on the day of the attack. In one video, a bloody IDF soldier is pulled from a car — it is not clear whether he is dead or alive — dropped on the ground, and kicked and beaten by a local Palestinian crowd.
In another, a young girl — revealed by Israeli media to be a 19-year-old soldier — wears bloody sweatpants while being dragged out of the trunk of a car to a chorus of cheers. One man yells in English, “You’re in Gaza!”
Among the still images included in the raw footage reel were those of a decapitated soldier, several charred human remains including those of young children, a pile of dead bodies in a bomb shelter, and several Islamic State flags that the military said were found in Israel.
Speaking to the press corps, Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari said that Israel has been identifying Hamas with Islamic State (or ISIS) since October 7 primarily because of the Gaza-based terror group’s methods.
“When we say Hamas is ISIS, it’s not a branding effort,” said Hagari.
“We say ISIS in the sense of — [Hamas’s] media elements, cruelty, and barbarism are ISIS elements,” he said. He also noted “the guidance of manuscripts” found on killed and captured Hamas terrorists, the primary force of which was from the group’s Nukhba commando unit.
“It’s this idea that they would take all measures, [even] against Islam, to not allow the existence of Israelis, wherever they are, [including] Bedouins, Arab Israelis, foreigners,” Hagari said.
“Why does a person take a GoPro [to such an attack]?” the military spokesperson continued. “Because he’s proud of what he does.”
“It’s indoctrination, and if the indoctrination is to commit crimes against humanity, it’s not just Israel’s problem,” Hagari added, alluding to a broader Western war against fundamentalist Islamic terror.