FACT CHECK: Hamas Official Falsely Claims Group Did Not Kill Civilians

Elias Atienza | Senior Reporter

Hamas international spokesman Dr. Basem Naim claimed in an interview with Sky News that the group did not kill any civilians during its attack on Israel.

Verdict: False

Videos show Hamas militants killing civilians. Media outlets have reported that Hamas has killed hundreds of Israeli civilians.

Fact Check:

Hamas attacked southern Israel Oct. 7, hitting Israeli military bases and settlements, according to the New York Times. The fundamentalist group took hostages, with Israel declaring war on them in response to the attacks and sending troops to clear out Hamas militants, the outlet reported.

The Hamas spokesman, during an interview with Sky News, rejected reporting that Hamas had killed civilians. Naim claimed that Hamas “has not killed any civilians.” (RELATED: Video Claims To Show Hamas Destroying An Israeli Tank)

“No, we have not kill any civilians. But I have to say, to tell you as a world-respected journalist, we also have to redefine what [a civilian is]. I cannot consider a settler…who has stolen my land, carrying guns, burning a [Palestinian city] a civilian,” Naim said.

The claim that Hamas did not kill any civilians is false. Israel has recovered the bodies of over 260 people killed by Hamas when the group attacked a music festival, according to BBC News. BBC News also published a report about how the massacre unfolded, pieced together with videos published on social media. One of the videos showed Hamas shooting a man hiding underneath a car, the outlet reported.

The Washington Post reported on videos showing Hamas taking four Israeli civilians hostage before they were executed in the kibbutz of Be’eri. The videos of civilians being killed by Hamas were verified by CNN as well. More than 100 bodies were found in the kibbutz, the majority of them civilian, the outlet reported.

Nicole Zedek, a correspondent at i24 News, reported that Hamas killed dozens of Israeli civilians in the kibbutz of Kfar Aza, including babies. Check Your Fact could not independently confirm these reports.

“I’m talking to some of the soldiers and they say what they’ve witnessed as they’ve been walking through these different houses… Babies, their heads cut off, that’s what they said. Families gunned down in their beds,” Zedek reported.

The New York Times reported on the Hamas attack on Kfar Aza as well. The report states that the bodies of at least three residents were carried out by Israeli soldiers. Israeli soldiers told the New York Times that more bodies were remaining inside of the kibuttz. Reuters reporters saw the bodies of residents and Hamas militants at the kibbutz.

“You see the babies, the mothers, the fathers, in their bedrooms, in their protection rooms and how the terrorist kills them. It’s not a war, it’s not a battlefield. It’s a massacre, it’s a terror activity,” Israeli Major Gen. Itai Veruv, told reporters, according to Reuters.

The attack on Israel’s southern border also killed dozens of foreigners, according to Al-Jazeera. For example, 10 Nepalese citizens were killed in Kibbutz Alumim, one of the locations attacked by Hamas, the outlet reported. President Joe Biden also confirmed the death of at least 11 American citizens in a statement on Monday.

In addition, images of Hamas militants killing civilians in Israeli towns have begun to emerge, according to OSINTTechnical, an account run by an analyst at the Center for Naval Analyses.

“Newly emerged images from Kibbutz Be’eri, Kfar Aza, and Kibbutz Re’em are incredibly disturbing. All I can really say is that the degree of brutality is horrifying, and confirms that Hamas deliberately and systematically targeted civilians, aiming to kill as many as possible,” the account tweeted.

Check Your Fact has reviewed images and videos of Hamas killing civilians. We are not linking to directly to them due to their extremely graphic and disturbing nature, but several of them have been geo-located to Israel by GeoConfirmed, a volunteer group that geolocates videos.

More than 900 Israelis have died and 2,600 were wounded since Hamas attacked Oct. 7, according to Haaretz. Gaza’s Health Ministry reported that 680 Palestinians have died to Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, while the Israeli Defense Forces claimed to have killed more than 1,500 Hamas militants.

The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed the death of 73 Israeli soldiers, according to i24 News. Check Your Fact has debunked claims related to the recent events in Israel and Gaza. Read them here(RELATED: Fact Checking Videos, Images And Posts From The October Hamas Attack On Israel)

Note: Check Your Fact is working to debunk false and misleading claims from the recent event. Please send tips to [email protected]

Update, 10/10/2023: This article has been updated with more reporting about the attack on Kfar Aza. The rating remains unchanged. 

Elias Atienza

Senior Reporter
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