ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Netanyahu said to support publishing raw video of Hamas atrocities; IDF mulling move

PM reportedly believes gruesome compilation will aid advocacy efforts for war, others warn it would quickly lose its effect; some relatives of victims said to oppose its wide use

Michael Horovitz is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel

FILE - Hamas terrorists are seen crossing the Israel-Gaza border fence on October 7, 2023. (Kan TV screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
File: Hamas terrorists cross the Israel-Gaza border fence on October 7, 2023 (Kan TV screenshot; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly supports publicly disseminating a 43-minute video of atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists during their October 7 onslaught, which so far has only been screened in closed-door sessions, as the military holds an ongoing discussion of such a move.

The video, which contains uncensored, difficult-to-watch footage of the massacre, has only been shown to journalists, politicians, and diplomats, who were asked to hand in their phones before such screenings.

It has yet to be published due to opposition from the families of some of the victims seen in it, according to the Ynet news site.

As the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip deepens, Israel faces an uphill battle for international legitimacy over its ongoing offensive to eliminate Hamas. Israel has rebuffed growing international calls for a ceasefire or pause in the fighting without a release of the hostages held by terrorists in the Strip, and has said that such a break would only allow Hamas to regroup.

Netanyahu reportedly believes the compilation will aid Israel’s advocacy efforts for its war against Hamas, which rules Gaza, while some officials are said to think that once the video is out, it will quickly lose its effectiveness.

The Israel Defense Forces is considering publishing at least part of the footage, in coordination with the victims’ relatives.

File: The emotional scene in a Knesset hallway after MKs were shown raw footage of October 7 Hamas atrocities, on November 1, 2023. (Instagram screen capture, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

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

War erupted after the deadly October 7 onslaught, in which Hamas terrorists breached the Israel-Gaza border in a coordinated, multi-pronged assault, and rampaged for hours through kibbutzim and communities adjacent to the Gaza Strip.

Over 1,400 people were killed, more than 1,000 of them civilians massacred in their homes and at an outdoor music festival, and at least 240 people were abducted.

The footage was shown last week in a closed-door session to Knesset members, many of whom were said to break down in tears during the screening.

A video posted on Instagram by an I24 journalist showed an emotional scene of visibly distraught and crying lawmakers in the Knesset hallway outside the screening room.

Israel’s United Nations Ambassador Gilad Erdan hosted a screening for ambassadors and senior diplomats over the weekend in New York. Last Tuesday, it was shown to a group of ambassadors to Israel and some of their diplomatic staff, and two weeks ago, the film was screened to about 200 members of the foreign press working in Israel.

Carrie Keller-Lynn contributed to this report.

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