IDF screens raw footage of Hamas terror attack for media; A Record of Pure, Predatory Sadism

From Breitbart, and then the Atlantic Photographs from the Daily Mail

GLILOT BASE, Israel — I wanted it to stop at 17 minutes in. But I had to watch. We had to bear witness.

This is what we saw.

A father and two sons, in their underwear, having just woken up, are trying to flee from their home.

The father picks up one boy and all three run to a shelter in the back yard.

A terrorist peers over the fence and lobs a grenade into the shelter. It bounces off the back wall and explodes.

The father’s body falls forward. A boy appears, covered in his father’s blood, looking at his father.

For a moment, you think the terrorists will shoot him.

Instead, the armed terrorists bring the boys inside, into the home.
One boy sits on a chair, the other on a couch, both still in their underwear, both covered in trickles of blood, theirs and their father’s. They wail: “Daddy! Daddy!” The boy on the couch says, “Itay, I think they are going to kill us.”

A terrorist — with a Palestinian flag patch on his flak jacket — opens the fridge and asks if they want water — “mayim,” in Hebrew. The one on the couch replies, in English, that he wants his mother — not “mayim,” but “mommy.” He repeats: “Mommy. Mommy.”

Then comes the worst moment of all.

We see the boy on the couch, now doubled over on the rug. “Why am I alive?” he wails.

He then looks at the brother in the chair. There is a red, black space where his eye used to be. He asks if his brother can see out of that eye. He says that he cannot. The other brother asks again. Are you joking? He repeats that he cannot see.

Somehow, the boys escape together, out the back door.

That was the worst, for me — the footage of that event compiled from multiple surveillance cameras in a town that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) asked us not to reveal, since the relatives of the dead have not yet seen the footage.

On Monday, the IDF invited journalists onto a military base to view 43 minutes of raw footage of the attack by the Palestinian Hamas terrorist group on October 17 — an attack that claimed over 1,400 lives and saw over 4,000 people wounded, and more than 200 taken prisoner.

The footage was compiled from both victims and perpetrators, from GoPro cameras, dashboard cameras, social media, surveillance cameras, and even audio recording apps on mobile phones. It is just a small part of what the IDF still possesses.

We were not allowed to bring cell phones, cameras, or laptops into the room, because the IDF does not want the public to see the footage before the families of the victims have seen it — if it is ever seen again at all. We were only allowed notepads and pens.

Throughout the screening, there were gasps, and cries in the audience. I heard some journalists whisper: “Make it stop.”

Some of the footage had already appeared in snippets of news coverage, or on social media, during the attack on October 7, and in the hours that followed. But most had never been screened publicly before, or in full context.
We saw — we still see, in our memories — civilian drivers being murdered in their cars. We saw terrorists setting fires to homes. We saw the aftermath — burned bodies; corpses of people who had been bound and gagged; bodies of murdered children and babies; a decapitated soldier.

Again and again, we see Hamas terrorists pumping bullets into people who are already dead — just to make sure. Some of the terrorists are visibly and audibly nervous in the footage. But they are not in a combat situation: they are coming for civilians. They are hunting Jews, trying to find them in their hiding places, reveling in the piles of bodies, mutilating corpses, looting the victims.

The terrorists surround a Thai man they have shot in the gut, then bicker about what to do next. (About 30,000 Thais live in Israel, many of them farmworkers.) “Give me a knife!” one Hamas terrorist shouts. Instead he finds a garden hoe, and he swings at the man’s throat, taking thwack after thwack. The audience gasped.

The film also contains an audio sequence, recorded on the phone of one of the victims, used by a terrorist to call his parents back home in Gaza to boast that he had killed 10 Jews. He tells them to check their WhatsApp, where he has His father replies: “Allahu akbar!” (God is great!). But then the realization sets in that his son is probably not coming back — that he intends to become a martyr, and to die fighting, so that he can kill as many Jews as possible. The mother comes to the phone and pleads with him to come back.

We see scenes of the carnage at the music festival — terrorists shooting into the closed doors of portable toilets, murdering those within. We see victims hiding in a dumpster; we see hostages, bloodied, in agony, being loaded onto trucks as their captors laugh.

The videos show pure, predatory sadism; no effort to spare those who pose no threat; and an eagerness to kill nearly matched by eagerness to disfigure the bodies of the victims.

There was no footage of rape, although there was footage of young women huddling in fear and then being executed in a leisurely manner.

It was, as IDF Major General Mickey Edelstein told the press afterward, “a very sad movie.” “What we shared with you,” Edelstein said, searching for words, “you should know it.” And he said he struggled to understand how some journalists could present the IDF and Hamas as comparable. This footage would refute that false equivalence. “We are not looking for kids to kill them,” he said. “We have to share it with you so no one will have an idea that someone is equal to another.”

There is no moment of redemption in the footage. We do not see the end, when the good guys arrive and save the victims. The only comfort is the knowledge that the GoPro footage, at least, was retrieved from the terrorists after they were killed or captured.

After the video was done, we were allowed to go outside to retrieve our equipment. I needed to start writing as soon as I did so. But first, I had to sit down. I leaned against a wall and cried. I kept thinking about those little boys and the nightmare they endured.


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