October 24, 2023

Hamas Plays by the ISIS Rule Book and We Must Respond as Such

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by Farhad Rezaei, Senior Research Fellow

Commentators echoed President Biden, who said that not since the Holocaust have so many Jews died in such horrific ways.

For years, there has been a belief that ISIS (Daesh) is in a league of its own – a brutal Islamist group that not only murders innocent civilians but does so in the most horrific ways possible. However, the gruesome images of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) butchering civilians and taking hostages dispelled this notion.

In heartbreaking images captured on surveillance cameras and testimonies of the survivors, how civilians died was made clear.

The terrorists from the elite Hamas unit Nukhba Force and the PIJ had killed with expert sadism. In one kibbutz, Kfar Aza, more than 40 infants and toddlers were killed: Some were found decapitated. Some families were locked in and their homes were set on fire. They threw hand grenades into crowded shelters. They raped women.

They took hostages ranging from babies to Holocaust survivors in wheelchairs. Hamas announced that the hostages would be executed one by one in response to the attacks of the Israel Air Force. Adding insult to injury, the terrorists who looted the homes used their victims’ credit cards to make purchases in Gaza. The atrocities were carried out on top of the unrelenting salvos of rockets and missiles on Israeli towns and villages.

International reaction reflected the shock and the anguish felt by the Israelis.