Hamas has released a disturbing video showing armed men handling and holding Israeli children and infants who have been kidnapped, in an attempt by the terrorist organization to manipulate the narrative regarding their treatment of captives. The video was captured as Hamas gunmen carried out mass infiltration into Israel last Saturday.
The video shows Hamas terrorists clad in fatigues and tactical vests holding the youngsters, seated around a table. One member is seen gently rocking a pram while consoling a crying infant. Others are seen comforting the distressed children, cradling them, rocking them, and patting their backs at what appears to be a standard suburban home, The Jerusalem Post reported.
Hamas Posts Vile Video
In one segment of the video, a child, estimated to be no older than five, is seen sitting in the lap of one captor, while the captor gently rocks the baby in a carriage. An assault rifle is clearly visible on a nearby table.
In another instance, a different militant holds the baby in one arm while brandishing an automatic weapon with the other. The faces of all the adults in the footage are intentionally blurred.
Towards the end of the video, an unidentified man wearing a balaclava and a green headband is shown holding a child in each arm and addressing the camera directly in Arabic.
In the realm of war crimes, acts involving children are deemed especially heinous within the international community.
The United Nations (UN) has identified the abduction of children during times of conflict as one of its six "grave violations," aligning with other condemnable actions such as attacks on hospitals or schools and the recruitment of child soldiers.
Last Friday, Israel initiated the distribution of thousands of flyers in Gaza, urging citizens to "leave immediately." However, Hamas encouraged residents to dismiss these directives, conveying a conflicting message to the populace.
As Disturbing as It Gets
Israeli ground forces have conducted localized raids into Gaza within the past 24 hours with the objective of purging the area of terrorists and weaponry, as well as searching for missing people, the army said.
In response to the escalating situation, Israel has mobilized 300,000 reservists and positioned forces, tanks, and heavy weapons in the southern desert area surrounding Gaza.
In the bordering fields, artillery fires at regular intervals with a powerful and deafening noise, targeting scarcely visible objectives in Gaza and causing the ground to shake.
However, any potential ground offensive is made more complex due to the presence of hostages. Hamas has issued threats to kill them one by one if bombardments are carried out without prior warning.
Yossi Landau, who has 33 years of volunteer experience with Zaka, an organization that recovers the bodies of people who suffered unnatural deaths, shared a harrowing account from Beeri, located just east of Gaza. He described discovering a dead woman with her stomach "ripped open," with a baby still attached by the umbilical cord, and both were stabbed.
This incident was part of a larger tragedy in Beeri, where over 100 people lost their lives, while around 270 were either shot or burned in their cars at the nearby Supernova music festival.
Hamas has denied responsibility for the deaths of babies, refuting claims that its fighters killed them.
Israeli soldiers have swept the southern towns and kibbutz farming communities since Saturday and have reported finding the bodies of 1,500 terrorists, along with a significant number of civilians who were killed by Hamas fighters.
The situation escalated as Palestinians in northern Gaza initiated a mass exodus in response to Israel's military directive, instructing approximately one million people to evacuate towards the southern region of the besieged territory. This order, unprecedented in its scale, precedes an anticipated ground invasion against the ruling Hamas militant group.
Expressing grave concern, the United Nations warned against the disastrous impact of such a large-scale exodus, amounting to almost half of Gaza's population. The UN urged Israel to reconsider the evacuation order.
Families using various means of transportation, including cars, trucks, and donkey carts filled with essentials, made their way down a major road from Gaza City, the largest city in the region. Simultaneously, Israeli airstrikes continued to pound neighborhoods in southern Gaza.
Hamas, which launched a shocking and brutal attack on Israel nearly a week ago and has since launched thousands of rockets, urged people to remain in their homes, dismissing the evacuation order as 'psychological warfare' intended to undermine their solidarity.
The Palestinian envoy to the UN drew a parallel between this mass exodus from northern Gaza, enforced by Israeli military orders, and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 war surrounding Israel's creation—an event referred to by Palestinians as the 'nakba,' or catastrophe.