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Videos, detainees and eyewitnesses confirm Hamas' Oct. 7 brutality, set stage for criminal trials

Hamas and allies have flooded social media and sympathetic news outlets with footage boasting of their savagery.

Published: November 27, 2023 6:04am

Updated: November 27, 2023 10:15am

Live-streamed decapitation attempts. Bodies of murder victims paraded like hunting trophies through Gaza. Rapes of children so violent it broke their pelvises. Sadistic torture worse than a Hollywood horror movie.

The evidence of Hamas’ atrocities is meticulously being gathered by Israeli and other authorities as pressure builds for an eventual trial for crimes against humanity.

"Maybe the most jarring thing," former Deputy National Security Advisor Victoria Coates told the "Just the News, No Noise" television show, "is that Hamas is not in any way trying to hide this. You know, they're not being furtive or in any way bashful about what they've done. They're proud of it."

Israel is gathering the testimony of captured terrorists, eyewitness survivors and horrifying video footage made by and of Hamas as officials piece together the full brutality of the Oct. 7 attack. 

While Israel has offered private viewings of some footage from Oct. 7 after about 1,200 people were slaughtered and 240 others were kidnapped, much of the evidence was posted directly online by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and apparently some civilians. 

In addition to the upcoming criminal trials of the suspected terrorists in Israel, some are asking the world to hold the terrorists accountable through the International Criminal Court or a similar system to document their alleged crimes against humanity, like was done during the Nuremberg trials of Nazi leaders after World War II. 

Overshadowing any prosecution of the terrorists' alleged crimes against humanity is that evidence indicates the extremists used rape as a weapon of war, according to Cochav Elkayam Levy, the head of a nongovernmental commission investigating the Oct. 7 crimes against women and children, The Washington Post reported

One woman who survived the massacre at the music festival for peace, where more than 360 people were killed, told police that as she pretended to be dead, she saw terrorists horrifically gang rape and murder a young woman. 

"She was alive, she stood on her feet and she was bleeding from her back. I saw that he was pulling her hair. She had long brown hair. I saw him chop off her breast and then he was throwing it toward the road, tossed it to someone else and they started playing with it," the unidentified witness said, according to CNN. "I remember seeing another person raping her, and while he was still inside her he shot her in the head."

Videos viewed by Just the News include that of a 19-year-old Israeli female soldier with her hands zip-tied behind her back being manhandled by terrorists in Gaza. Her pants are stained with what appears to be blood. In another video, a lifeless young woman's legs are spread without underwear or pants, as the upper part of her body is so burnt that her face is black and her hair is gone. Images and videos from first responders show dead, naked women with their hands and/or feet tied and their legs splayed open. 

Israel's first lady Michal Herzog wrote about several horrific incidents in an editorial last week in Newsweek as she expressed frustration with international women's rights organizations that have remained silent following the rape and murder of Israeli women. 

One commentator, Kenneth Blake, a former Special Victims Prosecutor, wrote in The Algemeiner that ironically, Nov. 25 was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and "there is not a whisper of condemnation emanating from the hallowed halls of the UN about the hideous sexual violence committed by Hamas against Israeli women." He also noted that "The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court states that “rape, sexual slavery, forced pregnancy, or any other form of sexual violence” is a crime against humanity."

"A Hamas video from a kibbutz shows terrorists torturing a pregnant woman and removing her fetus," she wrote. "Our forensic scientists have found bodies of women and girls raped with such violence that their pelvic bones were broken."

Just the News could not independently confirm the report of a tortured pregnant woman, but Shari, a volunteer military morgue worker, confirmed Herzog's report of violent rapes.

"We saw many women with bloody underwear, with broken bones, broken legs, broken pelvises," she told The Washington Post for an article Saturday.

Hamas, an internationally-designated foreign terrorist organization, denies that its militants raped women on Oct. 7, but multiple terrorists captured by Israel Defense Forces have confessed to witnessing and being ordered to participate in sex crimes, including the rape of a young woman's corpse, the "whoring of children" and the rapes of children and babies

The brutality of Oct. 7 went even further than sexual violence. 

For example, beyond displays of dead bodies, Just the News has reviewed photos and videos published by Hamas and its allies of beheaded Israeli soldiers, Israeli bodies being drug throughout the streets of Gaza and spat on and a kidnapped Israeli child being bullied by Gazan children. Another video shows a terrorist yelling "Allahu Akbar," Arabic for "God is the greatest" as he brings down a garden hoe on the neck of a dying foreign laborer in a decapitation attempt. 

Hamas is also notorious for its psychological warfare, which was on full display Oct. 7.

"A young boy and girl, 6 and 8 years old, and their parents around the breakfast table. The father's eye gouged out in front of his kids. The mother's breast cut off, the girl's foot amputated, the boy's fingers cut off before they were executed," Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified to Congress last month about one of Hamas' atrocities on Oct. 7. "And then their executioners sat down and had a meal. That is what this society is dealing with, and no nation could tolerate that."

Yossi Landau, the head of operations for the southern command of Zaka, Israel's volunteer group that responds to terror attacks, gave a description of a scene he responded to similar to the one described by Blinken. 

"Who was tortured before? Who saw if this was, this was on purpose? If this was the children looking at the parents being tortured? The parents seeing?" Landau asked at a conference last month when he spoke about the incident.

Landau also said he saw a pregnant woman who was murdered alongside her fetus.

"I’ll say, even though it’s very hard for me, I saw when I was there, a pregnant woman was lying on the floor. We turned her over. Her stomach was butchered open. She had the baby, the infant, the unborn infant, still connected with the cord, stabbed as she was shot in the back," he told Fox News

In another incident, a Hamas affiliate published a video of a kidnapped 19-year-old Israeli soldier Noa Marciano talking about her personal life, initially giving viewers hope she was alive, before flashing to photos of her deceased body. Israel says that she was murdered by Hamas terrorists in Al Shifa Hospital, although Hamas says she was killed in an Israeli airstrike.

There have been reports of terrorists using their victim's phones to call family members and even send videos of their loved ones being killed. 

For example, Natalie Hand, whose younger half-sister Emily Hand was released Saturday by Hamas, said that she repeatedly called her mother on Oct. 7 until a terrorist answered the phone, saying, "Gaza mother, Gaza mother," making Natalie Hand believe that her mother was taken captive in Gaza.

She found out days later that her mother was murdered and told Israeli outlet YNet: "I felt that I had been subjected to intentional psychological abuse. The terrorist told me that my mother was in Gaza, when in fact he knew she was dead, that he murdered her. He intentionally gave me false hope that she was alive." 

Others found out about their loved ones' deaths on Oct. 7 through social media. For example, Yoav Shimoni told NBC News that he saw a video of his 74-year-old grandmother bleeding to death on her Facebook account before he received any news notifications about the attack on Israel. 

Michael Oren, the former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., recently told "Just the News, No Noise" that there is a call for a "state commission and Nuremberg-type trial." 

Oren said he has seen the interrogation evidence "and it is chilling. It is horrifying to listen to these people talk just passionately about what they did and what they were told to do. ... It's unspeakable, and they should be put on trial."

Non-governmental organization ELNET, the European Leadership Network, which is dedicated to strengthening U.S.-European relations, created an initiative to expose the atrocities of Oct. 7 and hold Hamas and its supporters accountable for the massacre, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Shelly Hoffman, an international relations lecturer at the U.K.-based Open University, warns those seeking justice through an international tribunal, that prosecutors must show that the crimes were systematic to be classified as "crimes against humanity." 

"It’s necessary to show that there was a widespread and systematic attack against civilians and that the perpetrators knew that they were doing so as part of a planned policy," she said, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. "In other words, in the case of rape, for it to be used as a tool of war, as a 'weapon,' that there were orders to do this, and that it was not spontaneous."

Another difficulty is establishing proof of rape through forensic evidence. First responders were reportedly focused more on identifying the bodies rather than documenting evidence for an investigation such as by using rape kits, which must be performed within 48 hours of the sex crime. Any potential testing for rape would be further complicated by the fact that many of the bodies were mutilated. 

Meanwhile, Israel is looking at giving military tribunals the power to execute convicted terrorists. Israel has only executed two people in its history: a soldier wrongly convicted of espionage in 1948 and Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1962.

However, some Israelis and families of people captured by Hamas have expressed concerns that executing terrorists at this time could endanger the hostages currently being held by Hamas. It is unclear how executions of prisoners would impact an international war crimes trial, if it even happens.

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