At UN podium, Israel's envoy plays gruesome Hamas attack video

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Israel's United Nations envoy showed the 193-member General Assembly a brief video on Thursday that he said showed a Hamas fighter trying to decapitate a man with a garden tool during the Palestinian militants' Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

Ambassador Gilad Erdan told diplomats the victim seen in the few seconds of footage he played for them on a tablet was not Israeli or Jewish, but an agricultural worker from Thailand.

"One can see a terribly injured civilian – bloodied, yet alive – laying on the ground as a Hamas savage screaming Allahu Akbar repeatedly pummels the man's neck with a garden hoe in order to decapitate him," Erdan told the assembly.

Erdan's comments were delivered as the assembly began a two-day meeting on the Middle East on Thursday.

It is due to vote on Friday on a resolution drafted by Arab states that calls for a ceasefire in the war between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

At each seat in the hall at United Nations headquarters, Israeli diplomats placed a print out of a QR code with the title "Free Gaza from Hamas, scan to see Hamas' atrocities". It linked to photos and videos from the Oct. 7 attack.

Israel has vowed to wipe out Hamas, which rules Gaza, in retaliation for the attack that killed 1,400 people. Israel has struck Gaza from the air, imposed a siege on the enclave of 2.3 million people and is preparing a ground invasion. Palestinian authorities say more than 7,000 have been killed.

Speaking on behalf of Arab states, Jordan's Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi accused Israel of "making Gaza a perpetual hell on earth - the trauma will haunt generations to come." He said the impact on Palestinian civilians was immense.

"I don't have videos to show you, we respect the dead too much," Safadi said.

Arguing for a ceasefire, Palestinian U.N. envoy Riyad Mansour said certain nations, which he did not name, were applying a clear double standard.

"How can representatives of states explain how horrible it is that 1,000 Israelis were killed, and not feel the same outrage when 1,000 Palestinians are now killed every single day?" Mansour asked the assembly. "Why not feel a sense of urgency to end their killing?"

(Editing by Daniel Wallis)