(WTVO) — Israeli authorities held a screening for 200 journalists on Monday, of a 43-minute compilation of footage taken by Hamas terrorists during its attack on October 7th, in an effort to combat a growing “Holocaust denial-like phenomenon.”
Over 1,000 civilians were killed, and at least 224 people were abducted.
“I can’t believe I’m saying this and I can’t believe that we as a country are having to do this,” said Eylon Levy, an Israeli government spokesman, in a video announcing the press conference. “As we work to defeat the terror organization that brutalized our people, we are witnessing a Holocaust denial-like phenomenon evolving in real-time as people are casting doubt on the magnitude of the atrocities that Hamas committed against our people, and in fact recorded in order to glorify that violence.”
The footage was edited together from pieces of GoPro bodycam footage taken by the attackers themselves, coupled with CCTV, dashboard cameras, and mobile phones, showing the scale of the horrors visited upon a music festival and a neighborhood in southern Israel.
Reporters were prohibited from bringing recording devices into the screening but were allowed to describe the footage that they had witnessed.
One clip, approved for publication by the Israel Defense Forces, showed two Israeli civilians being ambushed by Hamas terrorists dressed in IDF uniforms, who sprayed the car with bullets.
Journalists described seeing the following:
A father rushes his two sons into an above-ground shelter, moments before a Hamas terrorist throws in a grenade, killing the father and wounding the boys. The terrorists grab the boys and drag them back into the house, one crying “Daddy is dead, this is not a prank,” and “Why am I alive?” while the gunman calmly takes a drink from their fridge;
Footage of a Hamas terrorist picking up a shovel and repeatedly trying to behead a bloodied man in a football shirt, exclaiming “Allah Akbar (God is great)!”
An audio recording of a gunman calling his family, exclaiming “I killed 10 Jews with my own hands. Father, be proud of me! I’m using the dead Jewish woman’s phone to call you now”;
Footage of Hamas attackers entering a house and speaking with a 7-9-year-old girl hiding under a table before they shoot and kill her;
An Israeli woman inspected the body of a partially burned woman to see if it was a family member. The victim’s dress had been pulled up to her waist and her underwear removed. Major Gen. Mickey Edelstein told reporters that “we have evidence” of rape but “we cannot share it.”
Still images of a decapitated soldier, charred human remains including children; Hamas setting houses on fire.
“When we say Hamas is Isis, it’s not a branding effort,” R Adm Daniel Hagari told reporters after the screening.
The screening took place during renewed calls for Israel to halt its bombing of Gaza ahead of an expected ground offensive.
Hagari justified screening the videos “in order to understand what we are fighting for.”
“Why does a person take a GoPro [to such an attack]?” he 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.
“It wasn’t sporadic freedom fighters fighting as a welfare organization. That’s how Hamas portrays themselves to the world,” said Lt. Col. Richard Hecht, an IDF spokesman.