The Hamas captive speaks calmly and clearly. His commanders, he says, ordered their fighters to ‘behead’ women, children and the elderly.
They were like ‘animals’ and instructed the invaders that, after murdering women, they should abuse their bodies, he says.
Even after two weeks of unremittingly sickening stories that have emerged since the October 7 atrocity, these are gruesome and incendiary claims, and they come amid a huge backlash against allegations that Hamas beheaded victims.
If what this man is saying is true, Hamas commanders specifically demanded beheadings as the killers prepared for their onslaught of Israeli villages.
The man, we are told, is a Hamas captive, and a video showing parts of his interrogation has been released by the Israeli military.
The Hamas captive (pictured) speaks calmly and clearly. His commanders, he says, ordered their fighters to ‘behead’ women, children and the elderly
It is impossible to verify the circumstances of the video or the identity of the man being filmed. I have reviewed it several times after it was given to me by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF). The Mail commissioned its own translation of the words he is speaking in Arabic.
The captive, dressed in a white cloth jumpsuit and sitting across from an Israeli interrogator, is said by the IDF to be a 24-year-old member of the Hamas terror squad that stormed Israeli villages on October 7. He was ‘an engineer and soldier’ in the Hamas ‘ground forces’.
The mission was to kill. Women, children, everyone
Unlike fellow fanatics who died as self-deluded ‘martyrs’ when they were shot by Israeli security forces, it would appear he either allowed himself to be captured or was incompetent in his escape.
The IDF told me he is from Hamas’s Zaiton battalion and was captured on the day of the massacres at the gates to the Alumim kibbutz, close to the Gaza border.
In the video, the young man speaks in a matter-of-fact voice, neither raised nor whispered, and answers questions put to him by his unseen interrogators in a room with wooden cupboards.
Asked what his mission was, he replies: ‘To kill. Women, children, everyone, anyone who was in the house.’
Even after two weeks of unremittingly sickening stories that have emerged since the October 7 atrocity, these are gruesome and incendiary claims, and they come amid a huge backlash against allegations that Hamas beheaded victims (pictured: Israeli soldiers carrying a coffin)
If this is true, it is the first indication that Hamas terrorists actively sought to decapitate victims (pictured: Israeli victims being buried)
He says that in Gaza, he had been taught in mosques to respect women and children, but it was ‘different’ in the Hamas ‘army’.
‘In the army they tell us to kill, massacre them everywhere,’ he says. ‘Women and children and so on. In the religion, they say it is forbidden to kill children, women, the elderly. In the army, the commander will tell you, stomp on their heads, behead them, do whatever you want with them.’
If this is true, it is the first indication that Hamas terrorists actively sought to decapitate victims. It has been suggested that headless bodies found by rescue workers might have been decapitated by blasts from the grenades terrorists were hurling into homes, rather than being deliberately beheaded.
It is obvious, therefore, why the Israeli military wants the startling claims made in this video to be public on the all-important information battlefield.
Equally, there is no doubt that Israel’s enemies will say the video is just propaganda.
There is more. The interrogator asks the man about the comparison Israel has been making between Hamas and the Islamic State terror group.
Pictured: a damaged building in the Be’eri kibbutz after the Hamas attack on October 7
Pictured: Hamas gunmen entering the Be’eri kibbutz where more than 100 people were killed
The captive appears to agree, saying: ‘ISIS burns, beheads and butchers…Hamas became ISIS.’
He says that Hamas commanders sent fighters on suicide missions, telling them: ‘You’re going to go in, not come back.’ He says they are ‘inhuman’, and became ‘animals’, and adds: ‘It’s things a person doesn’t do. Beheading people. Having sex with dead bodies – meaning the body of a dead young woman.’
‘Things like that happened?’ the inquisitor asks.
‘Yes,’ he says, nodding.
The face of the captive is obscured. It cannot be known why he seems to be speaking so freely. He certainly appears to be talking willingly. But it is impossible to be sure of the circumstances. He has been held prisoner by Israel, and he does not have a lawyer present.
The three-minute video is just a fraction of what must have been a lengthy interview, and we have been given only a compilation of selected clips.
An IDF spokesman told me the man had been detained with an ‘operational phone’ that contained just five contacts, a navigation app and the Telegram messaging app.
The phone is said to have contained videos of Hamas terrorists murdering victims that had been livestreamed from other villages.
The location of the man in this video is unknown, with the IDF saying only that he is being held in a secure facility in Israel and being questioned by IDF interrogators.
The Geneva Convention states that governments must protect prisoners of war from ‘insults and public curiosity’, which includes videos of them being interrogated. Israel is adamant that Hamas terrorists are not prisoners of war and the Geneva Convention does not apply.
On the morning of October 7, there was no war, they said, there was a horrific terror attack. And while Israel’s prime minister later declared his nation was ‘at war’, at the time of the attack, most of the perpetrators were either shot dead or detained, with the detainees being subjected to interviews to find out what they know.
On the morning of October 7, there was no war, they said, there was a horrific terror attack
And while Israel’s prime minister (pictured during a meeting with US president Joe Biden) later declared his nation was ‘at war’, at the time of the attack, most of the perpetrators were either shot dead or detained, with the detainees being subjected to interviews to find out what they know
Israel is still trying to rescue more than 200 hostages snatched by Hamas and taken to Gaza, and any snippet of information could be a vital clue as to their whereabouts.
If Israel is criticised for releasing a prisoner video, it should be said that several of the hostages have already been paraded on video by Hamas, some looking terrified.
Noa Argamani, 26, who was snatched at the Supernova desert party, was filmed on a motorcycle behind her Hamas captor begging for her life, screaming ‘Don’t kill me!’ French-Israeli Mia Schem, 21, was shown on video in Hamas detention with ‘fear written all over her face’, her anguished family said.
And a defenceless 85-year-old grandmother, Yaffa Adar, was filmed being driven on a golf buggy into the Palestinian enclave. While the claims in the captive’s video cannot be directly verified, after the massacres numerous reports emerged of dead women being stripped naked with signs of possible sexual abuse.
And confirmation that victims were found without heads has come from numerous sources, including Israel’s most senior pathologists tasked with identifying them.
Yesterday the Israeli authorities hit back in dramatic style at the doubters who are spreading ‘Holocaust denial-like’ theories. In a bid to counter the sceptics bleating about ‘fake news’, they staged what must be the most macabre cinematic event in history.
Only journalists were allowed into the 45-minute screening of unedited footage collected from the head-cams and smartphones of Hamas death squads. Many were in tears at the screening in a military complex in Tel Aviv.
The footage included clear recordings of civilians being shot, stabbed, tortured and burned. Corpses were arranged for all to see – bound, gagged and riddled with bullet holes.
In one clip, a Hamas terrorist throws a grenade at a father and his son. The blast kills the father, who pitches forward on to the turf, while the young boy is covered in his blood.
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. One of the boys sobs: ‘Why am I alive?’ as the ruthless terrorists stand over the body of his father.
Another dark chunk of footage showed the headless corpses of IDF soldiers splayed in the street.Introducing the grim screening, government spokesman Eylon Levy said: ‘The IDF has been collecting footage from bodycams taken by Hamas death squads as they rampaged through the communities in southern Israel, butchering everyone in sight.
‘I can’t believe I’m saying this – as we work to defeat the terror organisation, we are witnessing a Holocaust denial-like phenomenon evolving in real time as people are casting doubt on the magnitude of the atrocities Hamas committed against our people, and in fact recorded, in order to glorify this violence.’
On Sunday, Israeli president Isaac Herzog said manuals seized from the bodies of Hamas killers contained instructions on how to make chemical weapons. He said they were ‘official Al Qaeda material’ which showed how to build a weapon with cyanide.