Arab lawmaker denies Hamas atrocities

Arousing fury, Iman Khatib-Yassin of the United Arab List claims that Hamas did not murder babies on October 7; she apologized hours later.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

An Arab MK on Sunday denied that Hamas committed atrocities during its surprise invasion of Gaza envelope communities last month, despite the IDF has presented to the contrary.

Interviewed by the Knesset Channel, Iman Khatib-Yassin of the United Arab List (Ra’am) said, “They didn’t slaughter babies, at least from what was in the movie, and they didn’t rape women.”

The movie she was referring to was a compilation the IDF made from bodycams of the Hamas terrorists themselves, as well as footage from dashcams, smartphones, and security cameras in the kibbutzim, moshavim, towns and the dance rave attacked on October 7. Roughly 1,100 civilian men, women, children and infants were murdered, along with over 300 soldiers and policemen.

The 43-minute video had first been shown to journalists from around the world soon after the carnage, to combat denials by Hamas that its terrorists perpetrated numerous atrocities during the October 7th massacres.

On Wednesday, the video was screened at the Knesset, with anti-anxiety medication offered to lawmakers. The raw videos were too much for many of them, with MKs leaving the room shaking and crying in the middle and one, Likud MK Tsega Melaku, reportedly fainting at the cruel sights.

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Directly contradicting Khatib-Yassin’s assertion, Labor Party MK Naama Lazimi posted on X afterward that her breaking point came specifically at the sight of a dead infant.

“When the photograph of the murdered baby appeared, the picture was so painful and difficult that I had to leave. The image will be engraved in the depths of my soul forever,” she wrote.

The IDF specified that it has even withheld some of the most horrific scenes that its soldiers and volunteer first responders from the Zaka organization saw as they cleared the massacre sites one by one.

The Ra’am MK admitted that she did not show up for the screening, relying on what others told her.

“I heard firsthand from three members of my party who watched the film,” she said, adding that she didn’t go because such videos “just adds to the pain.”

She did condemn Hamas’ actions, saying, “What happened, to me, is inhumane, and it goes against the values of Islam even during war.”

She then seemingly hedged her words, adding, “But it’s impossible to ignore all that happened before and after, although I don’t justify it.”

Channel 14 reported that there some in Ra’am’s leadership immediately demanded Khatib-Yassin’s resignation, but that she has received no official order to do so yet.

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Party head Mansour Abbas said he was “shocked” at what his colleague had said, stressed that “we condemned the horrific slaughter from the first moment,” and stated that “There is, and will be, no place in our ranks for anyone who denies or minimizes the seriousness of acts that are contrary to our values and the Islamic religion.”

Justice Minister Yariv Levin condemned the Arab legislator, saying, “I was shocked by MK Iman Khatib-Yassin’s serious words, which contain a denial of the terrible massacre committed by Hamas terrorists on October 7. A few days ago, even before MK Khatib-Yassin’s remarks, I instructed the professionals at the Ministry of Justice to draw up a bill that would prohibit the denial of the massacre and set a severe punishment for those who do so.”

Hours after the angry reactions poured in, Khatib-Yassin apologized.

“I was wrong, I regret it and apologize,” she said. “I had no intention of downplaying or denying the shocking massacre on the seventh of October and the horrible acts against women, babies and the elderly who were murdered in the south. From Day One I voiced a clear position regarding the condemnation of these heinous acts against Jews and Arab citizens of Israel on that black Sabbath, and it is worth emphasizing this again, especially at this time.”

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