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Misleading Aspects Found in Israel's Video of Five Female Soldiers Held Captive by Hamas on October 7

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
24th May 2024
Misleading Aspects Found in Israel's Video of Five Female Soldiers Held Captive by Hamas on October 7
Conversations with the detained female soldiers were manipulated (X)

On Wednesday, May 22, the Israeli media released new footage, showing five female soldiers from the Israeli army held by Hamas fighters during the resistance movement’s operation on military installations and Israeli settlements on October 7, 2023.

This video was published following a decision by the families of the five captives, who remain in Hamas custody. The families of the female soldiers hope that these scenes will increase pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a truce with Hamas and secure the hostages' release.

Scenes of Female Soldiers' Arrest Marred by Misinformation and Sensationalism

Many Israeli media outlets and accounts published the footage, claiming that the individuals shown are teenage Israeli girls, with some alleging that they are civilians and were subjected to rape. In addition, an English translation of the fighters' conversations with the girls during the operation was included.

Misbar investigated several Israeli claims about the circulating footage and found that they contained disinformation intended to stir controversy and gain sympathy for the publication of the scenes. The conversation between resistance fighters and the girls during their detention was manipulated, with subtitles inserted that differed from the original context to substantiate Israeli claims of sexual assault and harassment.

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Accounts spread misleading claims about the female soldiers.

Misleading Translation of the Resistance Fighters' Conversation in the Footage

In one scene of the footage, the translation claimed a Hamas fighter said, "These are the Zionists," when he actually said, "These are cowards" ("hay alhaml"). Another part of the translation falsely indicates the fighter said that the girls "[They] can have babies," which was never mentioned by the Palestinian Resistance fighters.

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In another scene, the translation incorrectly suggested a Hamas fighter told a girl, "You are so beautiful," while he actually said, "No, you are not beautiful," with an added drum sound obscuring his actual sound.

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Furthermore, during the scenes showing the girls being moved to a car, the translation claimed a fighter said, "Without her, without her," while he actually said, "Tala'a," meaning "Get her into the car."

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Publishers Ignore Mentioning That Female Captives Are Israeli Soldiers

Many Israeli and Western media outlets, as well as social media accounts, alleged that the Israeli girls shown in the footage were innocent civilians or teenage girls who were raped after being kidnapped by Hamas during the October 7 Operation. 

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Accounts spread misleading claims about the female soldiers.

These claims’ publishers often ignored the initial reference in the video that the girls were captured from the Nahhal Oz base, an Israeli military observation base near the Gaza Strip, and that all of them are members of the Israeli army.

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The families of the five female soldiers published the original video.

The Israeli media published the names of the five hostages: Liri Albag, Karina Ariev, Agam Berger, Daniella Gilboa, and Naama Levy.

The detained soldiers were serving as observers for the Israeli army, a role that includes monitoring the security of the Israeli border.

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 The five female soldiers held by Hamas.

No Evidence of Female Soldiers' Rape Exposure Found

Several Israeli platforms and media outlets claimed that the footage confirmed the girls had been raped, but there was no clear evidence to support such claims. The scenes were clearly edited and shadowed in a way that obscured what actually happened.

The women were seen in civilian clothes and some in short clothing because the Al-Qassam Brigades, the military arm of Hamas, launched Operation Al-Aqsa Flood suddenly at dawn on October 7, 2023, during the Israeli soldiers' rest times.

Israeli and Western investigations previously reported that Israeli soldiers at military bases and border sites near the Gaza Strip were caught by surprise by the Al-Qassam operation. The resistance fighters seized military bases near the border, captured military vehicles, set fire to tanks, and in some cases, advanced several miles into areas near the security fence separating Gaza from Israel, detaining and killing many Israeli soldiers.

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Israeli female soldier Naama Levy, one of those shown in the recently released footage, appeared with her hands bound. Israeli media had previously shown other footage from her capture on October 7, where blood spots were visible on her clothes, particularly near her pants. At that time, Israeli media claimed this was evidence of repeated rape.

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A previous video for the Israeli female soldier Naama Levy.

However, in the new footage, Naama Levy appeared with her hands tied behind her back and blood on her pants, clarifying the presence of blood in the earlier footage and contradicting the claims of rape made by the Israeli media.

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The Israeli female soldier Naama Levy in the recent video.

Israeli Recruiter Karina Arif Appears in a Previous Al-Qassam Video

The Al-Qassam Brigades had previously released footage, which Israeli media also published, showing the moment when female soldiers were arrested from the Nahhal Oz base.

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Previous scenes released by Al-Qassam Brigades featuring Israeli female recruits.

In January, the Al-Qassam Brigades released a video featuring three female prisoners, urging the Israeli government to end the conflict in the Gaza Strip and allow them to return home. One of the prisoners shown in this video was the Israeli female soldier Karina Ariev, who also appeared in the recent scenes.

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A previous video for the Israeli female soldier Karina Ariev.

Ongoing Israeli Claims Regarding the Captives

Since the October 7 Operation, the accounts of the Israeli government and its officials continue to spread misleading claims and lies about the prisoners, and to fabricate the evidence that the Western media and some media institutions contribute to promoting it.

It is not the first time that Israel has claimed that the Israeli girls who were kidnapped by Hamas fighters in the operation are civilians. They promoted such claims, and Mibsar’s team had previously published a report refuting and revealing these soldiers' identities.

Hamas Refuted the Recent Israeli Claim

In response to the recent scenes, Hamas confirmed, in a statement, that the alleged video clip "is fragmented and manipulated and it cannot be confirmed that what was stated in it is true." 

The movement considered "circulating this clip at this time comes in the context of the failed Israeli occupation attempts, to discredit the image of the resistance, by showing the propaganda that the resistance confirmed by evidence that it lied through multiple forums and media investigations," according to Hamas's statement.

The movement clarified that the footage depicts female soldiers at a military site who were captured during their duty at the Israeli Gaza Division. They were seen wearing civilian clothes because it was during their rest period, particularly as the operation started early on October 7, which was their scheduled day off.

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