The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) presented graphic video and photographs from Hamas’s October 7 attack on Israel to international journalists at an Israeli military base north of Tel Aviv. The material, lasting 43 minutes, was described as disturbing and included footage compiled from various sources, including militants’ body cameras, victims’ dash cams, cellphones, and security cameras at kibbutzim. The IDF stated that they shared this material as part of their “narrative battle” to explain the reasons behind their actions. They emphasized that Hamas initiated the conflict in a heinous manner.
During the presentation, journalists were not allowed to record the images out of respect for grieving families. Some of the footage included:
- Hamas militants throwing a grenade into a home bomb shelter, resulting in the death of a father.
- Footage of two young sons in their kitchen, crying for their mother after the attack.
- A militant using a garden hoe to attack a wounded man.
- Hamas fighters setting fire to a home, shooting a dog, and executing a man in his living room.
- Clips of militants firing at two women under a desk and shooting at drivers until their cars stopped.
- Hostages being placed in the back of a pickup truck.
- A chilling cellphone recording of a Hamas fighter boasting about killing Jews with his bare hands.
The IDF’s intention in showing these images was to counter international criticism regarding civilian casualties during Israel’s military campaign in Gaza. They emphasized that they are committed to protecting their nation and that Hamas uses civilians as human shields. This comes as the conflict between Israel and Hamas has led to a significant loss of life and increased international condemnation.