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Forward, an American Jewish newspaper, reports that Queens College, City of New York University had a Muslim student group posting Instagram stories defending Palestinian/Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023.

ZERO evidence that Palestinians deliberately killed women and children. There is a great deal of video evidence that they deliberately avoided targeting women and children. There is nothing wrong with Palestinians taking prisoners of war in their struggle against the Zionist terror occupation. We cannot allow the Zionist false narrative (to) become the accepted history of what happened.”

A putative screenshot of the message is available

The first claim is trivially disprovable. I am curious about the second claim: there is video evidence that Palestinians did not target civilians.

Is it true?

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    Sorry, but we don't care about your political opinions in chat.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 8:33
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    Is the claim in question that some individual Palestinians participating in the attack avoided targeting women and children, or that the Palestinian forces as a group avoided it? The latter seems more consistent with the narrative that I imagine the protesters trying to convey, and more relevant, but much harder to reconcile with the available evidence. Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 15:10
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    To me the article reads as "Hamas wasn't overall targeting civilians to kill, only to kidnap". That ... seems like an interesting Q. But the one answer so far is answering the different Q "did Hamas kidnap civilians?" Wonder if what the article claims could be clarified? Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 15:40
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    @OwenReynolds: no, clarifications are not allowed (by the mods of this site). Your comment will soon be deleted, probably. Like some similar ones that already were. Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 16:13
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    Please change the word "Palestinians" in the title to "Hamas" or "terrorists" or even "Palestinian terrorists". The behavior of some shouldn't be used to refer to the whole group. Just like we refer to attacks by "extremist settlers" and not "Israelis" in the West Bank...
    – hb20007
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 7:37

2 Answers 2

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There is clear evidence that the terrorists attacking Israel on Oct 7th were deliberately targeting civilians and civilian population centers.

There are plenty of video evidence of them targeting, shooting at and killing civilians. Just looking at the huge list of victims we see the tens of murdered children and hundreds of murdered women, youngest of them (of all those whose identity was released by now) is 10 month old Mila Cohen.

We also have the identity of the kidnapped confirmed by Hamas and PIJ. Hamas released two elderly women, Yocheved Lifshitz, 85 years old and Nurit Cooper, 79 years old. There is no way that a reasonable person will think that two elderly women are IDF soldiers or part of the Israeli military forces. Earlier they released mother and daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan, 59 and 18 years old. And released a video showing three women they hold captive Rimon Buchshtav Kirsht, Danielle Aloni and Lena Trupanov, aged 36, 44 and 50. PIJ released a video confirming that they hold Hannah Katzir, 77 years old, and Yagil Yaakov, 13 years old. We have terrorist confirmation that they took captive and hold elderly women and children. None of them are military members and can't be confused as military members. All taken from their civilian homes in civilian clothes.

We have the story of the Elyakim-Arava family (video from the news, shows blood). The father Noam Elyakim and his two daughters Ella and Dafna aged 8 and 15 and his girlfriend Dikla Arava and her son Tomer, 17 years old. They were filmed in Hamas captivity in their home alive and well except for a minor wound in Noam's leg. Later on Oct 7th there are pictures of Ella and Dafna in Hamas captivity. In the following days and weeks the bodies of Noam, Dikla and Tomer were found. They were killed by Hamas while they were kidnapped from their home and were in their custody.

There is plenty more evidence from the day of the attack made and published by Hamas themselves where we can clearly see women and children kidnapped. This news video contains some of the published clips, but not all of them (clip is SFW), in the following time stamps:

  • 0:46 - Women and children from Nir Oz
  • 1:30 - Elyakim-Arava family
  • 5:00 - Yafa Hadar, 85 years old woman.
  • 7:15 - Noa Argamani, a young woman who was kidnapped from the Nova music festival.

The video contains also footage of kidnaped civilian men, but for some reason QCMSA don't concern themselves about them. And these are not the only videos in existence, there are other, more gruesome.

Dead civilians: many women and children were killed, just one example from Kibbutz Be'eri shows four hostages led by Hamas terrorists handcuffed, and in a later video they are shown dead next to the gate of the Kibbutz. From a Washington Post article

At least four Israelis taken hostage by Hamas during their unprecedented incursion into Israel on Saturday were killed soon after being taken captive, according to videos reviewed by The Washington Post. Graphic video shared on Telegram on Oct. 8, and verified by The Post, shows multiple bodies in the street in Be’eri, a kibbutz in southern Israel, just yards from where Hamas militants were filmed walking with several civilians who appear to be those same hostages.

Initial video of the hostages, which was filmed roughly an hour and a half after the attack began, was among the first pieces of visual evidence showing Hamas militants taking Israeli civilians captive.

In the video, the civilians appear to have their hands tied behind their backs and are being led by men in military clothing carrying AR-style weapons down a residential street. Some walk barefoot. Black smoke billows in the distance. The person filming shouts toward the group as they approach an intersection that is guarded by a gate, leading out of Be’eri toward Gaza.

At least four bodies are visible near that gate, in a second graphic video shared on Telegram on Oct. 8, which was independently verified by The Post and first geolocated by Rollo Collins and Benjamin den Braber of the Center for Information Resilience. The Post was not able to immediately verify exactly when this video was filmed, though burned cars and smoke are visible in both videos.

There is the video of the death of Osama Abu Essa an Israeli Arab Bedouin who was held by Hamas, interrogated, abused and then murdered, captured by a dash cam. I'm not linking to the video, because gore and snuff, you can look at the question on this site about him

And the story of 22 years old East Jerusalem Palestinian driver Suhaib Razeem:

Footage emerged on Tuesday showing the moment Razeem was captured by Hamas terrorists, some of whom apparently intended to let him go at first, upon finding out he was an Arab.

In the video clip, published by the South First Responders group on Telegram, one terrorist asks him “Are you an Arab?” to which Razeem replies “Jerusalemite.” Another one asked to see his ID.

A third terrorist asks “What are you doing here?” to which the young Palestinian replies that he is a bus driver.

Someone then screams: “Where are the soldiers?” as they express apparent surprise at the lack of Israeli military response and possibly seek to find out information.

As more terrorists gather around Razeem, others can be heard calling for him to be let go. “He is a worker, he is from Jerusalem, leave him alone,” one person says.

Nonetheless, Razeem was not spared in the massacre.

His body was only identified on October 19, after his family spent 12 days frantically searching for news about him.

Finally, to prevent the argument that those are rogue elements or that civilians were not the intended targets. And what I think is the most important piece of evidence, we know that this attack was targeted from the very start at civilians, and that the terrorists had prepared information and documents on civilian targets. As shown in this news article the operation plan for attacking Kibbutz Miflasin, a civilian target said explicitly to take civilian hostages and harm civilians.

In the document, the terrorists received clear orders to kidnap Israelis. "Take soldiers and civilians prisoner and hostage so that we would use them to negotiate," the document said. This is in contradiction to claims made by Salah al Arouri, a senior Hamas official, to Al Jazeera, that Hamas only targeted the military and that the Israelis were taken by civilians crossing the breached border fence. British Sky News reported overnight that a document found on a dead terrorist, which appears to be the same one described by the Times, referred to Kibbutz Miflasim, where the terrorists were repelled by local residents and prevented from invading.

British Sky News reported overnight that a document found on a dead terrorist, which appears to be the same one described by the Times, referred to Kibbutz Miflasim, where the terrorists were repelled by local residents and prevented from invading.

One page in the document titled, The Mission at Kibbutz Miflasim, said the Hamas force would be made up of two commanders and two teams of five. Sky also reported that the document included an order to abduct soldiers and civilians. One of the teams was told to breach the security fence and indicated the time it would take and that reinforcements would arrive within 3 to 5 minutes.

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    This answer makes a great job proving and documenting that the terrorists attacking Israel on Oct 7th were deliberately targeting civilians. But AFAIU the OP was already well aware of this, their question was rather smg like "is there any occurence documented on video where during these attacks (some of) the terrorists avoided targetting civilians ?" Of course, even if that existed (and proving a negative is difficult), that should not be used for neither denying nor minimizing the committed crimes (as the Queen's College student group is reported to do).
    – Evargalo
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 9:23
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    @Evargalo, around 3000 terrorists invaded into Gaza that day, but "only" ~1500 Israelis were killed. So mathematically there were some who didn't get to kill a civilian. Some of them attacked army bases and were repelled or killed on the very beginning, they also didn't get to kill a civilian. Suhaib Razeem was assaulted by many terrorist, some of them even claimed that he should be released. Eventually he was found dead, probably one one of all the terrorists there actually killed him. Does it matter which one pressed the actual trigger?
    – SIMEL
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 11:44
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    @Evargalo I don't think the quote in the question is saying "There was at least one Hamas member who avoided killing civilians" - I think its trying to say that the general consensus amongst Hamas militants was to avoid civilian deaths. Otherwise the purpose of the post falls flat. Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 15:20
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    @SIMEL : The fact that some of the fighters/terrorists didn't kill any civilian is not the same as saying that they would have refrained to do so. I will let the OP precise whether my interpretation of their query was correct or if your answer fully responds to their question.
    – Evargalo
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 16:14
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    @Evargalo, I can't see another interpretation of the claim. If there exists one (or several) terrorists who said "no, I won't kill any women or children myself, I'll only help others who do" does it matter? They took part in an attack directly amed at harming civilians, even if they only fought against soldiers, it just means that they freed another terrorist to kill children at that time.
    – SIMEL
    Commented Nov 13, 2023 at 17:02
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On October 13, 2023, Aljazeera reported on videos released by Hamas that shows Hamas fighters taking care of and playing with Israeli children during the attacks:

Publication of the military media affiliated with the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas); A video clip shows the way Al-Qassam fighters treat children, which invalidates the lies spread by Israel and its allies that the Palestinian resistance killed Israeli children. [via Google Translate]

In this video (requires Telegram, and may contain distressing images), published by the South First Responders group, there is a section showing a member of Hamas next to the back door of the car, shooting Israeli soldiers at a distance of 200 meters, while two girls taking shelter behind the same car. It is clear that Hamas fighters did not shoot the two girls, when they could have easily done so.

Update (Additional evidence):

In this video (requires Telegram, and contain distressing images), published by the South First Responders group (the admin of this channel appears to be a member of IDF), shows Hamas members found a girl in a car (The video doesn't show what happened before that and I don't know why they didn't release all parts, obviously they have access to all the dash-cam videos) and kept her alive (presumably) as a hostage but at the end of the video, after Israeli soldiers arrived (about 200-300 meters away from the subject), the girl easily escaped from Hamas fighters. (Or the Hamas members let him to go and didn't even kill him) and she tried to inform Israeli soldiers that "I am here, help me .." but Israeli soldiers started shooting that girl at the end of the video and the girl took shelter behind a car.

P.S. If you think that this post is misleading please see this meta post.

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    After the edits, +1: This shows that the Muslim student group had some video evidence, however weak, to make their claims - which is what the original question was about. One can acknowledge this WITHOUT needing to accept whether this behaviour was universal, typical or even any more than staged propaganda.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 13:08
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    It's funny that the description calls the killings lies. The video does in no way invalidate the other ones and it is ridiculous to claim it does
    – TheAsh
    Commented Nov 14, 2023 at 15:13
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    Context is very needed, Hamas terrorist are playing with children in whos father they just murdered in front of their eyes. The second video is again lacking context. Those women were taken by Hamas and were able to run away once Israeli soldiers and police officers engaged them with fire. They didn't kill the girls because they tried to kidnap them, and then they don't kill them because they are fired upon. And again, both videos are from civilian towns, not sure where the first one is, the second is from Moshav Yachini, civilian targets with no military value.
    – SIMEL
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 2:12
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    Basically, imagine someone coming to the defense of a mass murderer by saying "But look! There's this one person the murderer could have killed, but didn't! We cannot allow the false narrative presented by the prosecution to become the accepted history of what happened." And then C.F.G. would write a Skeptics.se answer to confirm: yes, there is video evidence of the accused not killing this one person even though he could (while failing to mention that the murderer kidnapped that person in order to use him as a human shield and make it difficult for the authorities to capture him).
    – Dan Romik
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 6:55
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    @DanRomik: But the question itself said "Y is trivially disprovable." and focussed itself on X.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 15, 2023 at 7:50

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