Israel Under Fire For Controversial Statement

( – Israel is facing a new wave of criticism after the Israeli government posted videos on its official social media pages featuring a quote from one of the recently freed hostages who says that “no innocent civilians” live in the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian territory where Israel has been engaged in military operations against the radical Islamic militant group Hamas.

The video consists of a compilation of clips and pictures from the Oct. 7, 2023, attack on Israel by the radical Palestinian militant group Hamas, which rules their territories. That attack killed over 1,200 and about 200 more were taken hostage, many of whom died in Hamas custody and some who have been subsequently released during the resulting conflict after Israel responded militarily. Since that response began, over 37,000 Palestinians have died and hundreds of thousands have been displaced.

The 51-second video includes a clip of 21-year-old Mia Schem, an Israeli-French citizen who was taken hostage by Hamas while attending a musical festival in Negev. She spent 54 in captivity in Gaza before her negotiated release in December 2023, after which she recorded an interview.

The clip of Schem from that interview, which appears 15 seconds into the video posted by the Israeli government this month, features her speaking about her experience in Hebrew with English captions. She claims the people who held her looked at her like “an animal,” adding that “no innocent civilians” live in Gaza and all of the families “live under Hamas.”

The video received immediate backlash from critics of the Jewish state, many of whom believe Israel is committing genocide due to the high death toll of Palestinians over the last six months. After the backlash, the official Israel page on X removed the post without explanation, although the video remains on other pages maintained by the government. Users also shared screenshots showing that Israel paid to boost the video on X ad space.

Amid ongoing ceasefire negotiations, pro-Palestinian activists continue to demonstrate against the Jewish state and the US government for supporting the war. President Joe Biden, who is bleeding votes from his base over the situation, has tried to maintain a milquetoast position, siding with Israel’s right to self-defense while also providing humanitarian aid to Palestinians impacted by the conflict.

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