The videos, which show captured Palestinians being beaten and corpses of resistance fighters being abused, were posted in the days following Israel’s recapture of territory surrounding the Gaza Strip that it lost on 7 October, when a Hamas-led attack caught Israeli forces by surprise.The clips were uploaded to a Hebrew-language Telegram channel with over 100,000 members called “Terrorists from another angle.”
Although The Electronic Intifada has blurred these videos to preserve the dignity of the dead, the clips leave little to the imagination. English subtitles have been added to the videos to draw back the curtain on the thoughts and feelings of the perpetrators and their accomplices.
In one clip, a man is seen urinating on dead bodies, presumably of Palestinian fighters, that have been stripped, scorched and splayed on the ground, either before or after their deaths. “This is what we are going to do to the Arabs,” one witness is heard commenting in Hebrew.
In another clip, an Israeli in civilian clothing can be seen repeatedly stabbing the corpse of a Palestinian fighter in combat fatigues.
“Hole him a little,” another Israeli is heard saying. “Won’t we give it to you in the stomach? And rip? Won’t we take out all his fat?”
In a third particularly gruesome video, an Israeli man uses the rod of a squeegee to repeatedly beat the face of a dead fighter, and then to poke each of his eyes out.
The videos are replete with foul language and calls for sexual violence. “Today on our show, we will fuck their mothers,” one Israeli says.
The Geneva Convention of 1949, to which Israel is a signatory, characterizes abuse towards captured enemy troops, and the defilement of their dead bodies, as war crimes.
In the days and weeks following the 7 October attack, Israel’s ambassadors and advocates have claimed that Hamas fighters and Palestinian civilians who followed them into the fray committed unspeakable atrocities against Israeli civilians during three days of intense fighting.
Videos captured by security cameras, body cameras and phone cameras of all involved parties make clear that many Israeli civilians were in fact wounded and killed on 7 October, while more than 200 Israelis and foreign nationals of all ages were taken captive and transported to Gaza, where most are still being held. This includes a significant number of Israeli military prisoners of war.
The testimonies of numerous Israelis who survived those same battles also make clear that a significant number of their compatriots who did not make it out alive were actually killed by the Israeli military.
Among the most scandalous claims leveled against the Palestinian combatants and others who entered the battlefield is that they ripped fetuses out of women’s wombs, baked babies in an oven, and decapitated dozens of infants.
These atrocious allegations, which were repeated as fact by Israel lobbyists, international news outlets, and even top politicians including US President Joe Biden, have not been substantiated by even a scintilla of evidence. While the mainstream media eventually realized this and – in some cases – retracted their original false reports, Israeli journalists have continued to broadcast these blood libels as fact.Israel maintains that these alleged atrocities are the casus belli that justify its own ongoing massacres of Palestinian civilians in Gaza. Since recapturing the territory it lost on 7 October, Israel has pivoted to bombarding urban areas of the densely populated Gaza Strip for three weeks straight, to exact retribution for its own heavy losses.
The official death toll from Israel’s devastating bombing runs in Gaza is nearing 10,000. More than 40 percent of the Palestinians killed are children.
In other videos uploaded to the “Terrorists from another angle” Telegram channel, Israelis are seen driving civilian vehicles back and forth over the lifeless bodies of men presumed to be Palestinian fighters, stripped down to their underwear.
“Amit, this is for you sweetie,” an Israeli is heard saying in one of the videos. In another clip where a presumed Palestinian fighter is slowly smeared into the gravel road, Israeli men can be heard laughing loudly, while one of them narrates the nauseating scene: “Very good, Gershon! In the ass! Half a corpse! In the ass!”
After the Israeli army declared war on Gaza, the Telegram channel has continued to fill up with images and videos of charred Palestinian bodies of a different kind: the civilian victims of Israel’s intense aerial bombardment of the Gaza Strip – men and women, young and old – still termed “terrorists” by Israeli officials.
Horrifying clips of Palestinians picking their mangled, mutilated and murdered family members and friends out of the rubble are regularly uploaded to the channel, accompanied by expressions of joy.
Meanwhile, while the world’s attention is focused on the destruction of the Gaza Strip, Israel is simultaneously turning the screws on Palestinians under its military occupation in the West Bank. Over 100 Palestinians there have been killed by Israeli soldiers and settlers since 7 October, while there has been a sharp increase in the number of people arrested and detained.
Videos in circulation on social media channels show some of these Palestinians being manhandled and forced to dance with the Israeli flag for the amusement of their Israeli captors.Other footage shows Israeli soldiers abusing a group of bound Palestinian laborers in the West Bank, some of whom are stripped naked. When Israel’s defense minister Yoav Gallant announced on 9 October that Israel would impose a blockade on all fuel and electricity, food and water entering the Gaza Strip, he insisted that this collective punishment was well-deserved, characterizing all Palestinians in Gaza as enemy targets and “human animals.”
Evidence from the Telegram channel makes clear that the genocidal messaging of Israel’s top leaders is filtering down to its soldiers and citizens.