Families Release Video Showing Hamas Terrorists Capturing Female Israeli Soldiers on Oct. 7

Families Release Video Showing Hamas Terrorists Capturing Female Israeli Soldiers on Oct. 7
A Hamas terrorist binds the hands of Daniela Gilboa as other female hostages sit on the ground during their capture at Nahal Oz military base in Southern Israel on Oct. 7, 2023, in this screen grab taken from video released on May 22, 2024. (The Hostages Families Forum/Handout via Reuters)

The families of female Israeli soldiers captured from an Israeli base on Oct. 7, 2023, approved the release of footage this week, showing Hamas terrorists holding them at gunpoint after storming the base.

The Hostages and Missing Families Forum—an organization representing families of Israelis taken captive on Oct. 7—released the video (warning, graphic content) on social media on Wednesday alongside a call for the Israeli government and the international community to press forward with negotiations for the release of more captives. The Israeli foreign ministry also shared the video in a Wednesday social media post and identified the five Israeli soldiers in the video as Liri Albag, Karina Ariev, Agam Berger, Daniela Gilboa, and Naama Levy.

The three-minute video consists of a series of video clips taken by Hamas terrorists, showing them standing over and shouting at the five female Israeli soldiers who sat in pajamas and other civilian clothes, several of them bloodied, and all with their hands restrained behind their backs. The footage was purportedly captured at a military outpost at Nahal Oz, an Israeli community about a mile from the Gaza Strip.

Footage Shows Capture of Israeli Soldiers

Bring Them Home Now said the video was edited to exclude some of the most graphic content, such as the bodies of other Israeli soldiers killed in the attack. The edited video provides a suggested English closed caption for comments between some of the Hamas fighters and Israeli captives that took place in Arabic and broken English, over the din of shouting from other Hamas terrorists at the base.

“I have friends in Palestine,” one of the female Israeli soldiers can be clearly heard pleading in English when face to face with the Hamas terrorists early on in the video. Moments later a second Israeli female pleads in English for “someone who speaks English” to address them.

In one segment of the newly-released footage, a Hamas fighter speaks in Arabic, with the closed captions reading, “Our brothers died because of you, we will shoot you all.”

In another video segment, a Hamas terrorist points at the female captives and speaks in Arabic. The proposed caption for his Arabic remark reads, “here are the girls” with a parenthetical caption reading “(people who can get pregnant).” Some social media commentators have contested the accuracy of the captioning in the video, arguing no one in the video actually said anything about people being able to “get pregnant.”

Another video segment shows a Hamas terrorist speaking to the girls in broken English, with the video caption reading, “you are so beautiful,” though some social media commentators have argued that the captioning is again dubious and that the Hamas fighter instead said, “no no you’re no beautiful.”

The newly-released video goes on to show Hamas terrorists loading the female soldiers into an olive drab-colored SUV, amid the sound of nearby gunfire. At least one of the women in the video can be seen with reddish-brown stains on the backside and legs of her pants.

Video Renews Hamas’s Sexual Violence Fears

Ayelet Levy Shachar, who is the mother of Ms. Levy, has previously identified her daughter as one of the individuals with blood covering the seat of her pants. In a December essay for The Free Press, Ms. Shachar alluded to her daughter’s capture while raising the prospect of hostage takers committing acts of sexual violence against the Oct. 7 captives.

“There’s a reason why women and children were prioritized first for release: younger women are at greater risk for further trauma. Just as women and girls are more vulnerable to more forms of violence, they are also more vulnerable to suffering from infections and pregnancy from sexual violence,” Ms. Shachar wrote in her December essay.

Salama Marouf, a spokesman for the Hamas political leadership in the Gaza Strip, issued a statement on Thursday accusing Israeli officials of spreading false claims accusing Hamas of committing sexual violence on Oct. 7. Mr. Marouf’s comments were published in the Hamas-affiliated Al Aqsa Channel on Telegram.

In a statement shared with Reuters, a Hamas official said the new video shows “the female soldiers were treated according to the ethics of our resistance and no mistreatment of those soldiers in this unit was proven.”

International Criminal Court (ICC) Karim Khan requested ICC warrants this week for the arrests of Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar; the commander of Hamas’ armed wing, Mohammed Diab Ibrahim al-Masri; and Hamas’ political head Ismail Haniyeh. Mr. Khan sought the arrests on a variety of war crimes allegations, including “reasonable grounds” to believe Hamas fighters have raped and tortured Oct. 7 captives. Mr. Khan said his office is also actively investigating reports of sexual violence committed on Oct. 7 specifically.

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