Israeli Journo Claims Hamas 'Beheaded' Babies: Did It Happen? What We Know

But there are several counterclaims to this. Whose versions are out there? Here's all we know.

4 min read
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(Trigger Warning: Descriptions of violence. Reader discretion advised.)

After foreign journalists were invited by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to inspect the aftermath of a Hamas-led massacre at Kibbutz Kfar Aza on Tuesday, 10 October, a journalist from Tel Aviv-based news channel i24 claimed that Israeli soldiers had found bodies of 'decapitated babies.'

But there are several counterclaims to this. Did this really happen? Whose versions are out there? Here's what we actually know about the incident.

Kibbutz Kfar Aza is an Israeli settlement located near the Gaza border. After Hamas launched its unprecedented offensive against Israel on Saturday, the settlement was among the first to come under attack due to its proximity to Palestinian territory.

i24's Nicole Zedek, who was one of the journalists invited to Kibbutz Kfar Aza, said that she had been told by IDF personnel that they had found babies in such an unimaginable state.

"Talking to some of the soldiers here, they say what they witnessed as they've been walking through these communities is bodies of babies with their heads cut off and families gunned down in their beds," she said in a live broadcast on X.


She also filmed an IDF Deputy Commander who confirmed the allegations: "They cut off heads… of children, of women."

Who Has Spoken About the Incident?

CBS News had reported earlier that Yossi Landau, Head of Operations at Israel's volunteer civilian emergency response organisation Zaka, had confirmed to them that he had "personally seen" adults, children, and babies beheaded.

i24's Zedek also claimed that around 40 babies and young children had been taken out on gurneys in Kfar Aza. However, the IDF in a statement refused to confirm the numbers or the exact condition in which the bodies were found.

"We cannot confirm any numbers. What happened in Kibbutz Kfar Aza is a massacre in which women, children and the elderly were brutally butchered in an ISIS way of action," the Israeli military told Sky News.

There Are Counterclaims to This Narrative

While it could be confirmed that several people were killed in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, the claims of beheadings cannot be confirmed, say other journalists.

"It is important to separate the facts from speculation in a situation like this," Sky News' Stuart Ramsay, who spoke to two IDF officials, said.

"At no point did either he, or the other major I spoke to, ever mention that Hamas had beheaded or killed 40 babies or children," he added.

Ramsay further said that the IDF had every opportunity to inform the global media of the alleged beheadings in Kfar Aza, but neither the murder nor the beheading of 40 children were mentioned to him or his team.

He, however, said that the happenings in Kfar Aza were full of dread. "The stories here are shocking – families being woken without warning to voices outside their houses, mums and dads hiding their children in cupboards, wine cellars, and basements, husbands and wives becoming separated in the fight."


Spoke to Hundreds, Saw No Evidence: Journalist

Another journalist Oren Ziv – who works for independent news outlet 972 mag – spoke to "hundreds of soldiers" at the scene of the incident.

"During the tour we didn't see any evidence of this, and the army spokesperson or commanders also didn't mention any such incidents," he took to X to say.

Further, Hamas has outright denied the allegations as "propaganda" being peddled by Israel and its allies.

"The Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement Hamas has strongly dismissed the false claims promoted by some Western media outlets, such as Palestinian freedom fighters killing children and targeting civilians," Hamas said on its Telegram channel on Wednesday.

These claims and counterclaims add to the debate surrounding misinformation in connection with the Israel-Hamas war. Several photos and videos, completely unconnected with the ongoing conflict, have been shared widely on X, Facebook, and other platforms — sometimes unintentionally but many other times with the specific objective to fuel the conflict against one side or the other.

Claims of such gruesome killings also come at a time when Israel is mobilising lakhs of troops, including at least 3,60,000 reservists, along the Gaza border to potentially launch a ground invasion of Palestine.

Biden's 'Irresponsible' Faux Pas Adds Fuel To the Fire

Further United States (US) President Joe Biden's apparent faux pas in a televised address, in which he speaks about the alleged beheadings, is being seen as highly irresponsible.

"There are moments in this life – I mean this literally – when a pure, unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world. This is an act of sheer evil," Biden had said, adding that he never thought he would "see pictures of terrorists beheading children".

A White House spokesperson, however, told The Washington Post that neither Biden nor any other US official has seen pictures of the alleged beheadings, and that the president's comments were based on claims made by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesperson Tal Heinrich to CNN and other media reports emanating from Israel.

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Topics:  Israel Palestine 

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