Israel Deletes X Video That Reportedly Says There Are ‘No Innocent Civilians’ in Gaza

Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu via Getty Images
Abed Rahim Khatib/Anadolu via Getty Images

An official Israeli government X account deleted a post that reportedly contained a video in which a former hostage was quoted saying there are “no innocent civilians” in Gaza.

A post on the @Israel account, which is affiliated with Israel’s Foreign Ministry, appeared online Tuesday alleging that Gazan civilians had taken part in the Oct. 7 attacks. The post, which can still be seen on an archive site, also referred to reports of civilians in the enclave keeping Israeli hostages in their homes.

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“We need to talk about the elephant in the room,” read the post, which was deleted as of Thursday morning. “Many Gazan civilians participated in the horrific events of 7 October,” it continued. “It is also reported that Gazan civilians held Israeli hostages captive in their homes. The world must condemn this in the strongest terms.”

The video in the post, which The Daily Beast has not seen, reportedly includes a quote from Mia Schem—a French-Israeli woman who was kidnapped during the Nova music festival massacre and released from captivity during Israel’s temporary ceasefire with Hamas in November. “There are no innocent civilians there,” she is heard saying in the clip while text of her words appear as a caption, according to Middle East Eye.

Following her release, Schem gave television interviews in which she spoke about her experience in captivity. In one with Israel’s Channel 13 in December, she used the phrase that there “are no innocent civilians there,” while discussing her time in Gaza, according to the network’s translation of her comments, adding: “Families there live under the Hamas.” It’s not clear if this was the audio featured in the reported X post.

The Daily Beast has contacted the Israeli government for comment about the video’s contents and the post’s apparent deletion.

On X, critics reacted to the post with outrage before it was removed, alleging that such rhetoric implied that all Palestinians in Gaza could be legitimately targeted by Israel’s military. Several also shared screenshots appearing to show the original post.

Rates of civilian deaths, injuries, and suffering have drawn international condemnation throughout the war, including from Israel’s allies. The Israeli government is currently defending itself against genocide charges at the International Court of Justice, while the top prosecutor at the International Criminal Court is seeking an arrest warrant for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A separate U.N. inquiry released findings on Monday about the Israeli military operations in Palestinian territories after Oct. 7. It said that some unspecified Israeli officials had called for “violence and the killing of Palestinians, the erasure of the Gaza Strip, vengeance, collective punishment, noting that there are no innocent civilians in the Gaza Strip.”

The inquiry on Wednesday accused both Israel and Hamas of committing war crimes, with the panel concluding that Israel also committed crimes against humanity during its prosecution of the conflict.

Israel says around 1,200 people were killed and another 250 were taken hostage during the Oct. 7 attacks. According to Palestinian estimates, over 37,000 people have been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its large-scale military operations in the enclave eight months ago.

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