Jerusalem, Oct 12 (EFE).- Israeli authorities on Thursday published explicit photos in response to questions regarding claims that Hamas killed children and babies. The US Secretary of State accused the Islamist group of using the population of Gaza as “human shields.”
On Thursday, the White House walked back President Biden’s claim to have seen photos of beheaded children, saying he was referring to reports from Israel and that the president had not seen the pictures himself.
Hours later, the Israeli government showed photos and videos to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and posted others on social media. Blinken said, “Pictures are worth a thousand words. These pictures may be worth a million.”
This new war has resulted in more than 1,300 dead in Israel and 3,200 wounded from the large-scale Hamas attack, while retaliatory bombing by Israeli aircraft has claimed at least 1,400 lives and left more than 6,000 wounded in Gaza.
On Thursday, explicit images of bloodied and burned babies and children’s rooms covered in blood and gunpowder were posted on the official accounts of the State of Israel and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on X, formerly Twitter.
“Those who deny these events are supporting the barbaric animals who are responsible for them. Babies. Toddlers. Infants,” the state account said, referring to doubts that have circulated on social media in recent days about whether a report of 40 babies beheaded by Hamas was fabricated.
The American secretary of state told a news conference in Tel Aviv that Israelis had shown him graphic images of last Saturday’s Hamas attack in southern Israel, including a baby shot dead, soldiers beheaded and teenagers burned alive as they fled, among other horrors.
The senior diplomat concluded that the only explanation for such a massacre is “pure evil” on the part of the Palestinian Islamist group.
Blinken also said Thursday that civilians in Gaza are not the target of Israeli attacks and accused Hamas of using them as “human shields” in the face of Israeli bombardment.
“Something that’s not new, something that they’ve always done: intentionally putting civilians in harm’s way to try to protect themselves or protect their infrastructure or protect their weapons,” he told a news conference in Tel Aviv.
Reserve Col. Golan Vach, head of the National Rescue Unit in the army’s Home Front Command, claimed Thursday that he himself “found a baby with its head cut off” among the more than 100 people killed in Kibbutz Beeri, next to the Gaza Strip, and that members of his team found more decapitated children.
“I don’t think a baby with its head cut off is an accident, a rocket doesn’t do that,” Vach said.
Also a member of the ZAKA Disaster Victim Identification Teams, an Israeli community emergency response unit in charge of recovering bodies, told EFE on Wednesday that he “doesn’t have numbers, but there are many cases” of dead children in places like Kibbutz Beeri, the Israeli community where the largest massacre of civilians has occurred in recent days.
“I myself took the bodies of babies of one month, two months, of burned children, of children who were still burning when I took them by the hands.” He went on to say that he knew of cases of “people who were tortured, raped and burned alive.
The head of US diplomacy, who is visiting Israel as a show of solidarity, said that in his meeting with Netanyahu, they discussed “Ways to address the humanitarian needs of people living in Gaza, to protect them from harm while Israel conducts its legitimate security operations to defend itself from terrorism.”
Blinken met Thursday with Netanyahu and the country’s president, Isaac Herzog, and is scheduled to meet Friday in Jordan with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
In the coming days, he will also meet with officials from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Qatar.Iranian funds
Blinken again denied that the $6 billion in Iranian funds unfrozen by Washington as part of a prisoner swap with Tehran were used to finance the Hamas attack on Israel.
The foreign minister insisted that not a single dollar of these funds, which can only be used by Iran to purchase food and medicine, has been spent so far.
He reiterated that the United States has the power to re-freeze these funds whenever it wishes, but did not confirm that it has done so, as some local media have reported.