Whistleblower claims IDF runs graphic Telegram channel depicting Israeli soldiers abusing dead Palestinians
12/21/2023 // Cassie B. // Views

When Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, there were countless images of fighters seeming to take pride in their violence and parading the bodies of Israelis through the streets. The world was quick to condemn this behavior, and these images helped Israel shore up significant support for its defense efforts, at least in the early days.

Now, however, the tables have turned. As Israel continues its relentless attacks on Gaza that don't seem to be distinguishing between terrorists and civilians, soldiers on the Israeli side have been sharing images of their abuse of dead Palestinian bodies.

This is according to a whistleblower, who exposed a “war porn” social media channel that Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers have reportedly been using to share photos and videos depicting their mistreatment of Palestinians. The senior military official told the Israeli paper Haaretz that the IDF’s Operations Directorate’s Influencing Department is behind a disturbing channel on the cloud-based messaging app Telegram known as “72 Virgins – Uncensored.”

The department is tasked with conducting psychological warfare operations against enemies and foreign audiences; targeting Israeli audiences, as they seem to be doing here, could be against the law.

The official told Haaretz: "There is no reason for the IDF to conduct influence campaigns on Israeli citizens of Israel. The messages there are problematic. It doesn't look like an awareness campaign of an army like the IDF, but more like talking points for [far-right rapper] The Shadow, and the fact that soldiers operate such a problematic page is egregious."

The rapper referred to, The Shadow, is known for making outrageous statements such as encouraging paramedics to harvest Palestinian people’s organs to save Jewish people’s lives.

The channel currently has more than 5,300 followers, and it regularly shares images depicting the capture and killing of Hamas militants, including images of dead bodies. So far, more than 700 posts, videos and photos have been shared.

Horrifying captions make light of Palestinian suffering

In one video posted in early October, an IDF vehicle can be seen driving repeatedly across the corpse of a Hamas fighter, with an accompanying caption stating: "Very good, Gershon!!! Run him over run him over!!!! Screw the bastards! Flatten them."

Many of the captions on the channel are similarly incendiary. For example, one read: “Burning their mother … You won’t believe the video we got! You can hear the crunch of their bones. We’ll upload it right away, get ready.”

In another post that claimed to show the rounds of a machine gun being dipped into pork fat, the caption says: “What a man!!!!! Lubricates bullets with lard. You won’t get your virgins.”

An image showing what is believed to be a pair of Israeli soldiers dragging the dead body of a Hamas fighter in the street is captioned: “Who wants to buy a mop made by Hamas?”

The IDF has denied any involvement with the channel, telling Haaretz: "If there was any connection by soldiers or other parties connected to the IDF with the page or its operation, this was done without approval and without authority."

However, this is not a very strong denial and leaves open some room for the interpretation that it is indeed being run by the IDF to some extent.

This could be a violation of the Geneva Convention, which Israel is a party to. The Geneva Council for Rights & Liberties notes: “The Geneva Convention of 1949 stipulates that the deceased war victims should be protected and treatment of the corpses 'inappropriate' manner, including taking pictures with them and desecration is prohibited."

It is also potentially violating Israel’s own laws banning them from conducting psyops targeting the Israeli population.

Testimony from people in Gaza collected by the nonprofit Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor indicates that some Israeli soldiers have been engaging in horrific behavior such as setting homes on fire, humiliating detained civilians and attacking them with machine guns.

Sources for this article include:




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