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Israel social media account declares 'there are no innocent civilians' in Gaza

In a video shared on X, Israel accuses Palestinian civilians of involvement in the Hamas-led 7 October attacks
A boy inside a tent in the Deir al-Balah refugee camp in central Gaza on 11 June (AFP/Bashar Taleb)
A boy inside a tent in the Deir al-Balah refugee camp in central Gaza on 11 June (AFP/Bashar Taleb)

An official account representing Israel on social media platform X shared a video on Tuesday claiming "there are no innocent civilians" in Gaza.

The claim appeared within a post accusing Palestinian civilians of involvement in the Hamas-led attacks on southern Israel on 7 October and of harbouring captives taken by the group during the assault.

"We need to talk about the elephant in the room," the post starts, before continuing: "Many Gazan civilians participated in the horrific events of 7 October. It is also reported that Gazan civilians held Israeli hostages captive in their homes. The world must condemn this in the strongest terms."

In the video accompanying the statement, former captive Mia Shem is heard saying, "There are no innocent civilians there" -  a quote that is repeated in bold font in the video's captions.

Previous statements made by Israeli officials about Palestinian civilians in Gaza as a whole have been cited in the ongoing International Court of Justice (ICJ) case against Israel, in which the state stands accused of genocide.

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In his infamous speech before the ground invasion in October, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant referred to Palestinians in Gaza as "human animals".

"Gaza won’t return to what it was before. There will be no Hamas. We will eliminate everything. If it doesn’t take one day, it will take a week, it will take weeks or even months, we will reach all places,” he said. 

Gallant also enforced a total siege on Gaza, blocking food, water, fuel and other essentials from reaching its civilian population.

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Israel's President Isaac Herzog has also echoed the idea that Palestinian civilians in Gaza are culpable for the attacks on 7 October.

"It is an entire nation out there that is responsible. It is not true this rhetoric about civilians not aware, not involved. It is absolutely not true," Herzog said on 12 October.

Both Gallant and Herzog's comments are cited in the submission made by South Africa to the ICJ.

Israel has killed more than 37,000 civilians in its war on Gaza, of which the vast majority are women and children.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Gallant are the subjects of a separate International Criminal Court (ICC) arrest warrant application over accusations of crimes against humanity and war crimes.

Senior Hamas leaders including political chief Ismail Haniyeh, military head Mohammed Deif, and its leader in Gaza, Yahya Sinwar, are also subject to the ICC arrest warrant application.

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