'Inhumanity': Pastors shown footage of Hamas atrocities during private embassy screening

Bodies of people killed in the attack by Gaza-based Hamas militants on southern Israel await identification outside the National Center for Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2023.
Bodies of people killed in the attack by Gaza-based Hamas militants on southern Israel await identification outside the National Center for Forensic Medicine in Tel Aviv on October 16, 2023. | Ahmad Gharabli/AFP via Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Dozens of pastors gathered at the Israeli Embassy Monday for a private screening of raw footage and audio of Hamas gunning down civilians in their homes and bragging about killing Jews as they seek to bear witness to the brutality of the Oct. 7 attacks. 

In partnership with the embassy, the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews hosted the screening of a 45-minute video compiled by the Israeli government showcasing the murders committed by Hamas on civilians in southern Israel.

The footage shown during the event was collected from various sources, including Hamas body cameras, security cameras, social media posts, cell phone cameras and first responders. 

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The event did not permit attendees to record the footage due to concern that some victims' families have yet to see the graphic videos and photos of their dead loved ones. 

Before the screening began, Eliav Benjamin, the embassy's deputy head of mission, delivered opening remarks, contending that Israel shouldn't apologize for any of its actions and must defend its people. The screening comes amid mounting calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. After Hamas militants killed over 1,400 people (over 1,110 civilians) in its Oct. 7 surprise attack, the Hamas-run health authorities state that over 11,000 people in Gaza have been killed since Israel launched retaliatory airstrikes and a ground offensive last month. 

Benjamin stressed that Israel is fighting a "just war," not just on its behalf but on behalf of the free world, and is doing all that it can to prevent civilian casualties. 

"This is not a war of religion," Benjamin said. "It is, in a way, a war of civilizations, or the civil world against those who don't believe in civilizations."

In the first set of videos, Hamas members are seen breaching the border in Gaza and infiltrating Israel through a hole in the fence. The terrorists proceeded to shoot at cars driving down the highway, killing the passengers inside and dragging their dead bodies out of their vehicles. 

"Allah is great, Allah is great!" some of the terrorists could be heard chanting. 

Other video clips showed Hamas terrorists attacking civilians in their homes or shooting at the attendees of the Supernova Music Festival, where the terrorists killed around 260 people. Some of the video clips showed the armed Hamas militants dragging injured and bleeding festival attendees and throwing them into the back of a pick-up truck, presumably taking them to Gaza as hostages. 

Another clip showed Hamas terrorists pulling a bound and injured Israeli citizen out of the back of a truck, forcing her to walk barefoot into the vehicle. The girl in the video is noticeably injured, and the back of her pants were stained with blood. 

In one of the audio recordings played alongside the video clips, a Hamas terrorist purportedly uses a dead Jewish woman's phone to call his parents and brag about murdering 10 people. He instructed them to pull up WhatsApp to see his murder victims. 

"I killed 10 people," one of the terrorists said. "Ten people with my bare hands." 

"Your son is a hero," he added. 

Another disturbing clip showed a Hamas terrorist trying to use a farming tool in an attempt to decapitate a lifeless body. An audio clip purported to show Hamas terrorists discussing how some victims were beheaded. 

An in-home security video showed a father and his two young sons trying to flee their home, but the father was killed by a grenade. Another scene shows the two boys crying over the death of their father as a terrorist rummages through the fridge and pulls out a drink. 

The 45-minute video also contained several photos of the victims, including multiple babies killed by Hamas. Some of the victims' bodies appeared to have been burnt by the terrorists.

Bishop Paul Lanier, The Fellowship's chairman of the board of directors who opened the event with a prayer, delivered remarks after the video concluded. He expressed a desire for the screening to inspire a change in those who watched the footage. 

In an interview with CP, Lanier clarified his remarks, saying Christians are typically "peace-loving people" who want to focus on joy and good things instead of focusing on tragedy. 

"And our Christianity will not allow us to do that," the bishop said. "We have to throw light upon the inhumanity, the brutality that took place, and equally be as fervent and bold and determined to stand for life and the people of Israel." 

As some Christian leaders have issued calls for a ceasefire, Lanier questioned how anyone could use faith to defend a ceasefire when the danger is still present. 

"As long as Hamas is firing weapons and holding hostages, a ceasefire is entirely incongruent with reality," he said. 

Jonathan Avendano, managing director of the National Hispanic Pastors Alliance, of which several pastors in attendance are affiliated, argued that the only way to stop evil is to "erase it." 

"There's a quote: 'If Israel surrenders, then Israel will be obliterated. But if Hamas surrenders, then there will be true peace," he told CP. 

That Hamas-run health authorities' death toll figures in Gaza don't break down combatant deaths and civilian deaths, but the United Nations expressed concern earlier this month that women and children are "bearing the brunt" of the casualties. 

In an interview with The Christian Post, Benjamin decried the Hamas-run health ministry's death toll numbers as fake, noting that this has been part of Hamas' modus operandi for years. He highlighted the false claim that Israel had bombed an Anglican hospital in Gaza as a recent example. 

At first, it was reported that Israel was behind the explosion at the al-Ahli Hospital that reportedly killed around 500 people. However, it was later confirmed that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad had misfired a rocket, and the death toll was dozens, not hundreds. 

Benjamin also highlighted the various ways Israel is attempting to reduce civilian casualties by designating areas for Gazan residents to safely evacuate from the north to the south. Benjamin said 150 trucks filled with humanitarian aid are going into Gaza per day, and Israel is providing water to Gaza despite the war. 

"Israel is adhering to International Human Rights Law 100%," Benjamin proclaimed. 

One of the most significant challenges for Israel right now, according to Benjamin, is that the Jewish state is forced to justify actions not long after it experienced a horrific attack. 

"It's our obligation, let alone right, to defend ourselves and make sure that this never happens again," he said. "And we hope that the entire world gets that." 

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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