Interview

‘I Couldn’t Breathe’: Watch Arabs React After Screening Footage Of Hamas Slaughtering Civilians

'I thought the worst I've seen in my life is what ISIS has done in Iraq and Syria...I have never imagined saying I've seen something worse'

   DailyWire.com
Sharaka delegates
Rawan Osman and Fatema Al Harbi.

A group of Arabs from the Middle East and North Africa were deeply disturbed after viewing 47-minutes of Hamas’s October 7 atrocities during a screening at the Israeli consulate in Boston, Massachusetts.

“I was shocked — I couldn’t breathe,” Fatema Al Harbi from Bahrain told The Daily Wire. “I cried most of it.”

The group is part of a delegation meeting with American leaders and advocating for peace under the organization Sharaka, which was founded after the Abraham Accords. Members of the delegation included individuals from Syria, Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Morocco.

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While much of the footage has been circulated online, the compilation does not blur faces of dead or alive adults, and includes videos that have not been released publicly. The consulate did not allow video cameras or cell phones in the screening room.

“I thought I saw enough on social media,” said Al Harbi, who is also the Sharaka’s Gulf affairs director. “There were more horrific acts and barbaric acts towards civilians — people sleeping in their beds.”

In total, the video shows over 120 bodies including children, videos of beheadings, houses and people set on fire, unarmed people shot at point blank range and more.

“I thought the worst I’ve seen in my life is what ISIS has done in Iraq and Syria,” Rawan Osman who is Syrian and Lebanese said. “I have never imagined saying I’ve seen something worse.”

Sharaka delegation speaking

A group of Arabs from the Middle East speak at an event during their trip to the United States to advocate for peace in the Middle East. (Photo by: Consulate of Israel to the Southeast)

Osman, who has lived in Syria and Lebanon, said the glee that Hamas fighters had in the video while they executed and beheaded people made them worse than ISIS.

“They were so joyful and cheering over dead bodies and they were parading bodies without clothes,” Al Harbi, who is Muslim, said. “That’s not the Islam that I knew my whole life.”

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Osman said  the hardest part of the video for her was a scene of a father appearing to jump on a grenade to save his children in a bomb shelter.

“I’m a mother and I could relate to the fear, the dread the father and the children were feeling,” she said. “The moment the boys realize that their father has been killed and the way the terrorists react to that, they’re just pushing them around, like move on.”

Kfar Aza houses, one with shrapnel holes and another with blood.

Two Kfar Aza homes, one with shrapnel holes in the ceiling from a grenade and another with blood on the walls.

“I think his childhood ended that moment,” Osman said of one of the children that was heard wishing to be dead in the video after his father was killed.

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The footage has left journalists and lawmakers in tears during other screenings. Nearly every person from the Boston group was crying while watching the footage. During the debrief one man had to leave and no one was making eye contact with each other.

“I couldn’t contain myself, I had to go out,” Youssef Elazhari from Morocco said. “I’ve seen most of the videos, but seeing them all together gets to you. I had to change the air and cry a bit.”

Kfar Aza massacre sight in southern Israel.

Each house on a particular street in Kfar Aza faced a different fate. Some were entirely burned, some had bullet holes, others still have blood on personal items.

Elazhari said the section showing videos from the Nova music festival massacre was the hardest for him because he likes to attend similar events in Morocco.

“I know how happy people are at these types of events and how much they want to be with their community that is full of love,” he said. “But Hamas just wanted to kill them without even knowing who they are.

“In Morocco, Palestine is considered a noble cause but they don’t know who they are championing, they don’t know s***,” he said.

Elazhari added that he is not surprised by Israel’s response in invading Gaza.

“Hamas killed people and took hostages. That’s just telling the Israelis ‘come to my house and look for them,’” he said. “Hamas has no concept of failure: if you kill someone it’s glory, if you die, it’s also glory. There’s just no end.”

Osman said it’s frustrating when Hamas denies the atrocities.

“An Israeli was decapitated with a small knife and then his head was taken away,” she said recounting what she saw in the video. “I think that’s enough proof.”

A bloody handprint inside a house at the Nir Oz kibbutz, one of the Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip attacked on October 7 by the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, on October 31, 2023.

GIL COHEN-MAGEN/AFP via Getty Images

Al Harbi said she doesn’t think the video would convince some people who hate Israel of the atrocities even if it were to be released publicly.

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“I think some people don’t want to accept the reality and don’t want to give credits of what actually happened that day,” she said. “It’s a different kind of war happening.”

With the horrific scenes burned into her mind, Al Harbi said she will continue to advocate for peace.

“Seeing the bodies without without their heads and and seeing children crying over their family’s bodies … I think those scenes will always stick in my mind, and I think that will help me always to advocate for peace, that no children, no woman, no father deserve to to see such scenes, no matter what their religion or nationality,” she said.

Osman said she has no plans to stop advocating for peace and against Hamas.

“I have seen the horrific scenes coming out of Gaza, but I also do not allow them to confuse me,” she said. “I do remember what happened on the 7th of October — who instigated this war — and as a mother, as someone who grew up in the Middle East, as someone who has family across the Middle East and many friends in Israel, I cannot carry on living as if something hasn’t happened.”

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