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Harrowing bodycam footage of Hamas killings released: What you need to know

The conflict between Israel and Hamas is complex and rapidly evolving.

Israel has shared 43 minutes of harrowing raw footage of the Hamas attack that left 1,400 people dead.

The vision was gathered by the Israeli military from security cameras, dashcams, body cameras worn by the attackers, social media accounts and mobile phones.

It's deemed so shocking most of the video hasn't been made public, but instead screened to a group of international journalists in Tel Aviv, Israel.

It reportedly shows Hamas gunmen cheering with joy as they shoot civilians on the road, and later stalking the pathways of a kibbutz and killing parents and children in their homes.

Israel believe the material is important to counter attempts to deny or downplay the extent of the atrocities.

A screenshot of the Hamas attack on October 7 from footage provided to journalists by the Israeli military. Source: IDF handout
The Israeli military compiled the footage to show to journalists. Source: IDF handout

What you need to know

  • Israel and Hamas are at war, after the Palestinian militant group launched surprise cross-border raids from Gaza, killing more than 1,400 people and taking hostages.

  • In response, Israel has been pounding the territory, strikes which Palestinian authorities say left thousands dead. Many in the already cramped and impoverished territory are in dire need of aid.

  • As Israel is expected to launch a ground offensive, there are fears the crisis could escalate further, drawing in Israel’s neighbours.

  • After Hamas’s attack, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said authorities would cut electricity and block the entry of food and fuel as part of “a complete siege” on Gaza.

Read more: Israel is at war with Hamas. Here’s what to know

🤔 Why should I care?

The October 7 attack by Hamas on Israel provoked outrage across the world. Politicians came together to condemn Hamas and offer condolences to Israel. Hamas, which governs Gaza (a Palestinian territory) was designated a terrorist organisation by Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, and a long list of other nations.

Hundreds of Australian citizens have been evacuated from Israel. There are 51 Aussies known to have been in Gaza when Hamas's attack took place which resulted in the area being blocked off. Australian officials are currently unable to access citizens stuck in the blockaded zone.

Within Gaza, a humanitarian crisis is rapidly developing, with one aid worker saying the supplies arriving in Gaza are a 'drop in the ocean of the needs’ amid dire conditions.

Read more: Melbourne grandmother stuck in Gaza, husband slams DFAT

🗣️ What they said

  • Journalist Jotam Confino told Sky News he left the screening after 34 minutes: "The atrocities that we already know happened and that we have already seen evidence of by listening to eyewitnesses, seeing the scenes, were now shown to us on a screening – 45 minutes – of raw material, GoPro cameras from Hamas terrorists… all of it really, really showing exactly what happened."

  • Daniel Hagari of the Israeli military before showing the footage: "We will not let the world forget about who we are fighting. We are not talking about the Palestinians. We are talking about Hamas."

  • Israeli government spokesperson Eylon Levy: "This is footage that has not been made public. It will screen a compilation of raw and unedited footage from the October 7th Massacre for journalists who can stomach the horrific truth and want to report on what they saw."

  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese on his priority to engage with Australian representatives of both sides of the conflict: "I've engaged, I have met personally with the Israeli ambassador, I had him to my residence, and had discussions with leaders of the Palestinian community, leaders of the Jewish community here in Australia."

Read more: Israel shares harrowing footage of killings during Hamas attack to counter denials

🔢 The story in numbers

  • 1,400 people killed in Hamas' attack on October 7 and 200 hostages taken.

  • 5,000 Palestinians killed since Israeli strikes began according to the Hamas-run health ministry.

  • 1.4 million people – more than half of Gaza’s population – have been displaced by the strikes.

⏭️ So what next?

The situation on the ground remains fast-moving and complex, with Israel preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza by intensifying airstrikes in the region.

However fears are mounting that the Israel-Gaza war could swell into a wider Middle-Eastern conflict.

A top official from Hezbollah, a Lebanese Shia Islamist political party and militant group, vowed that Israel will pay a high price if it starts a ground offensive in Gaza, adding that his militant group based in Lebanon already is "in the heart of the battle".

Speaking to troops in northern Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned that, if Hezbollah launches a war, "it will make the mistake of its life".

"We will cripple it with a force it cannot even imagine and the consequences for it and the Lebanese state will be devastating," he added.

Meanwhile, US president Biden has warned Israel not to repeat ‘mistakes’ from the US 9/11 retaliation.

Read more: Biden warns Israel not to repeat mistakes of US response after 9/11

❗ It’s hard to believe, but…

Parents in Gaza fearing for the fate of their children amid the conflict have resorted to writing the names of their children on their legs and abdomen.

Dr Abdul Rahman Al Masri, the head of the emergency department Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in Gaza, told CNN parents were worried that no one would be able to identify their children if they were caught in the crossfire.

The black ink is a small sign of the fear and desperation felt by parents in the densely populated enclave as Israel continues to pound it with relentless airstrikes in retaliation for the Hamas attacks.

"What we noticed today is that many parents writing the names of their children on their legs so they can get identified after airstrikes and if they get lost. This is a new phenomenon that just started in Gaza," he said. "Many of the children are missing, many get here with their skulls broken … and it’s impossible to identify them, only through that writing do they get identified."

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