DAILY MAIL COMMENT: A glimpse into the evil so many seek to deny

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: A glimpse into the evil so many seek to deny

Today the Mail publishes harrowing details of an interrogation by the Israeli military of a Hamas fighter said to have taken part in the terrorist atrocities of October 7.

It is chilling video testimony, centring on a raid on a kibbutz in which the 24-year-old says he was involved. With brutal clarity, he lays bare the sheer inhumanity of the mission – and its bloody execution.

Before the Hamas death squads left Gaza, he claims commanders instructed them not just to kill but to ‘massacre them everywhere’. He added: ‘Women and children, and so on. The commander will tell you, stomp on their heads, behead them, do whatever you want with them.’

Our decision to print this gruesome account was not an easy one and certainly not taken lightly. It still requires caveats.

The man is a prisoner in Israeli military custody. In the video he is dressed in a white forensic suit and being questioned in Arabic by unseen members of Israeli intelligence.

The Hamas captive (pictured) speaks calmly and clearly. His commanders, he says, ordered their fighters to ‘behead’ women, children and the elderly

Even after two weeks of unremittingly sickening stories that have emerged since the October 7 atrocity, these are gruesome and incendiary claims, and they come amid a huge backlash against allegations that Hamas beheaded victims (pictured: Israeli soldiers carrying a coffin)

We cannot know what duress he was under. Israel does not regard Hamas terrorists as prisoners of war, so does not feel obliged to observe the terms of the Geneva Convention. This is one of the reasons we have not released the video.

READ MORE: The video Israel claims shows a Hamas terrorist admitting gunmen were ordered to ‘behead’ and ‘do whatever you want’ with victims 

However, he appears calm and answers questions put to him in a coherent way. We know his identity but have not revealed it.

The video was passed to us by a known senior member of the Israeli Defence Forces, who want this information in the public domain.

They want people to know the full unspeakable savagery of what happened. We have heard about it from Israeli survivors. This is the first corroboration purporting to be from the perpetrators.

In the fog of war, fact is all too often obscured by claim and counter claim. Consider the explosion at the al-Ahli hospital in Gaza which killed hundreds and was initially blamed on an Israeli air strike.

As Rishi Sunak confirmed yesterday, British intelligence is the latest in a string of Western secret services to say it was ‘likely caused’ by a misfiring Islamist missile.

This interview may get us nearer the truth of exactly what happened on the day that began this cycle of rage and violence – and why. That must be in the public interest.

Even if broadly true, the young man’s words should dispel any lingering claim that Hamas are legitimate freedom fighters – or indeed ‘militants’, as the BBC would have it. The footage Israel released yesterday from the bodycams of jihadis leant further weight to that argument.

This was a crime of medieval barbarism committed by psychopaths. It was the worst mass slaughter of Jewish people in a single day since the Holocaust and carried out without mercy or conscience.

That needs to be borne constantly in mind by anyone who seeks to understand the depth of Israel’s rage and its desire for retribution. Israelis believe they are in an existential struggle against an implacable enemy. Judging by the testimony we print today, they are right.

Despite our reservations, the Mail believes it should be in the public domain. If you can bear to read it, please do. Then make up your own mind.

Pictured: Hamas gunmen entering the Be’eri kibbutz where more than 100 people were killed

Changing rooms

It is entirely right that the Government is moving asylum seekers out of expensive country house hotels into cheaper accommodation – and not before time.

The mystifying question is what were they doing in these luxury properties in the first place? In France, they languished in makeshift migrant camps. In Britain, despite having entered the country illegally, they were immediately housed in some of the most pleasant accommodation the country has to offer. Is it any wonder so many want to come here?

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