Bearing witness to graphic footage of Hamas barbarity
WARNING: GRAPHIC VIOLENT DESCRIPTIONS
The footage is beyond what the human mind can comprehend. The levels of depravity, barbarity, and sheer glee at the wholesale slaughter of innocents is more than the soul can take. They seem like scenes from the worst horror movie or nightmare, but they are real.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) screened unedited footage taken from bodycams of dead Hamas terrorists as well as security camera footage, body cams, and social media accounts used by the terrorists to broadcast their brutality to the world.
Why would the IDF screen it? The answer is macabre and simple – there are many who deny the events of 7 October and engage in sickening “massacre denial”.
“We’re witnessing a Holocaust denial-like phenomenon in real time as people are casting doubt on the magnitude of the atrocities that Hamas committed against our people and, in fact, recorded to glorify that violence,” said Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy on 22 October on announcing the screening for international media.
“I cannot believe I’m saying this, and I cannot believe as a country we’re having to do this,” Levy said of screening the raw and unedited footage taken by the Hamas death squads of the massacre and barbarities perpetrated against Jews on 7 October.
Journalists were visibly shaken, many in tears and shock after viewing the footage. I’m going to share some descriptions, but you’re cautioned that they are highly graphic and upsetting.
Footage showed Hamas terrorists dressed as IDF soldiers, shooting at cars, dragging the bodies out and looting.
Footage showed civilians and soldiers being shot, stabbed, tortured, and burned merely because they were Jewish. Some soldiers were beheaded.
Many of the corpses shown on screen were bound, gagged, and riddled with bullet holes and knife wounds.
In one clip, a father and his two small sons, still in their underwear and roused from sleep are seen running towards the safety of their shelter outside. A Hamas terrorist is filmed throwing a grenade. The blast kills the father, and severely injures one of the boys. The child is dragged inside and forced to sit next to his brother, whose eye is a bloody mess after being subjected to horrific torture.
The two boys can be heard crying in disbelief as they beg the terrorists in English, “I want my mom!” They then shout to each other in Hebrew saying, “We’re going to die!” One of the boys who has a massive piece of shrapnel in his right eye says, “I cannot see! Why am I alive?”
In the following shot, filmed hours later, the mother can be seen bent over in agony next the father of her children, who lays dead outside the shelter.
Other footage shows IDF soldiers beheaded with their headless corpses left splayed in the streets, while a contingent of female soldiers were injured by a grenade, then shot at point-blank range.
Alongside the videos, a recording of a phone call between a Hamas terrorist and his parents is displayed onscreen with a translation in the caption. “Father, look at your phone. I sent you pictures! I killed 10 Jews dad! I’m in a kibbutz, the blood is on my hands father! Mom, I killed 10 Jews! 10 Jews with my own hands!”
“May G-d save you, my hero,” the mother replies. In the background, a female victim is heard desperately crying in pain.
The depravity is never ending. We have heard the testimonies from first responder Zaka, which is tasked with collecting the bodies of the dead, from coroners, forensic pathologists, those responsible for preparing bodies for burial, IDF soldiers, eyewitnesses, and now journalists. Will it be enough to stop the crazed massacre denial?
Aside from the beheaded soldiers, other horrors include dancing and cheering around the body of an Israeli soldier in the heart of Gaza; a handcuffed and bleeding soldier dragged out of a stolen jeep, possibly after being sexually abused; as well as dozens of Israeli victims – women, children, babies and the elderly – shot on the side of the road.
Further clips show numerous people braced for their own slaughter, some bound and gagged, others cowering with guns trained on them. A group of young women is seen huddling in fear before being executed.
There’s still more to describe.
“We’re making a collective memory for the future. It will define who we are,” the Israeli military’s top spokesperson, Brigadier General Daniel Hagari, said at the screening.
“This is a crime against humanity. They killed babies, old people, sick people. We won’t allow the world to forget who we are fighting,” said an IDF spokesperson.
Now more than ever we need to bear witness. To do so is excruciating. We’re recording history so that future generations will know and never forget. For Zion’s sake, I won’t be silent. For the sake of the victims, I’ll bear witness.
- Rolene Marks is a Middle East commentator often heard on radio and TV and is the co-founder of Lay of the Land and the SA-Israel Policy Forum.