'The State of Israel is strong. We are united and powerful'

Showing explicit video of Hamas crimes, Gallant tells NATO: ‘2023 is not 1943’

In video briefing with counterparts from Western alliance, defense minister casts Hamas as ISIS, says terror group will no longer exist following military campaign in Gaza

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant briefs NATO counterparts on October 12, 2023 (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant briefs NATO counterparts on October 12, 2023 (Elad Malka/Defense Ministry)

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant showed uncensored footage of Hamas’s brutal atrocities in Israel as he briefed by video 31 of his counterparts at a NATO meeting in Brussels, his office said Thursday.

Gallant told them of the atrocities committed by Hamas terrorists against children, women, men, and the elderly, and vowed that Jewish people would not be slaughtered en masse as they were in the Holocaust.

“We have been hit hard. Yet make no mistake – 2023 is not 1943. We are the same Jews, but we have different capabilities. The State of Israel is strong. We are united and powerful,” he said.

“Hamas is the ISIS of Gaza, a savage organization, funded and supported by Iran. Hamas is ISIS,” he said. “The ISIS of Gaza will not exist, on our borders. The IDF will destroy Hamas. And we will hunt down every last man with the blood of our children on his hands.”

“I walked from house to house. And saw the bodies of our pioneers, the Holocaust survivors, burned alive. Children were tied up and shot. Yes, I repeat — children tied up and shot,” Gallant told the NATO ministers.

“Young girls were raped violently, and kidnapped or killed. They were dragged to Gaza, to the sound of cheering, while blood was dripping down their legs,” he said. “A peace music festival, with 3,000 young people, became a bloodbath. Dozens of citizens from your countries have been murdered or kidnapped.”

A terrorist’s body after the devastating assault by Hamas in Kibbutz Be’eri, near the Israeli-Gaza border, in southern Israel, October 11, 2023 (Oren Ben Hakoon/Flash90)

Gallant expressed appreciation for the global show of solidarity with Israel, particularly the support from the United States.

“Israel does not stand alone,” declared NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, according to a post on X by the alliance.

“At meeting of NATO Defence Ministers, Allies condemned the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas against Israel,” it read.

Palestinian terrorists rampaged through the south of Israel Saturday morning massacring some 1,300 people, the vast majority of them civilians, and abducting at least 150 captives to Gaza. Some 3,000 were injured.

Blood covers the floor of a bedroom of a resident of Be’eri, on October 11, 2023. (Times of Israel/Canaan Lidor)

Terrorists documented many of their atrocities, while survivors have shown videos of their escape and have given testimony of their horrifying experiences.

Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry said 1,300 in the Palestinian enclave have been killed in retaliatory Israeli strikes. Israel said it is targeting terrorist infrastructure and all areas where Hamas operates or hides and that Israeli forces have killed some 1,500 Hamas terrorists who infiltrated into its territory since Saturday.

Israel’s allies have shown an unprecedented wave of support after the onslaught, which appeared to revive memories of similar atrocities perpetrated by ISIS.

Signs of US support for Israel were seen across the administration, with Secretary of State Antony Blinken arriving in the country for meetings on Thursday, and US President Joe Biden denouncing antisemitism in America and the “sheer evil” of the assault.

The US military has moved a second aircraft carrier toward the Mediterranean Sea as part of efforts to prevent the war from spilling over into a more dangerous regional conflict.

It joined the USS Gerald R. Ford, the Navy’s most advanced aircraft carrier, and its strike group which had already arrived in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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