Widespread reports that babies in southern Israel were beheaded by Hamas infiltrators have been met with a wave of skepticism from online pundits.
The revelation appears to originate from Nicole Zedek, a reporter for the Israeli-based network i24 News, who made the claim in a now viral video on X.
“It’s hard to even explain exactly just the mass casualties that happened right here,” Zedek says from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, an area in southern Israel that lies a quarter mile from the Gaza border.
“In fact, the Israeli military says they still don’t have a clear number [of casualties], but I’m talking to some of the soldiers and they say what they’ve witnessed, as they’ve been walking through these different houses, these different communities, uh – babies, their heads cut off,” she continued. “That’s what they said.”
i24NEWS Correspondent @Nicole_Zedek reports from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, a quarter-mile from the Gaza border, and recounts the atrocities that were committed in the small community which remains an active scene as soldiers clear booby traps and recover the bodies of dozens of victims pic.twitter.com/J4ZfWZQYHp
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) October 10, 2023
The print version of Zedek’s report claims that the victims included “about 40 babies and small children – some with their heads chopped off.”
In a second video posted by i24 News’ English X account, David Ben Zion, Deputy Commander of Unit 71 for the Israeli Defense Forces, relayed a similar account to Zedek.
“We walk door after door,” he says. “We killed a lot of the terrorists. We are stronger than them, they are aggressive. They are very bad. They cut head off children, cut head off woman. But we are stronger than them.”
“They chopped heads of children and women,” says David Ben Zion, Deputy Commandee of Unit 71 to our @Nicole_Zedek, while reporting from the massacre in Kfar Aza in southern Israel pic.twitter.com/IHSB0ywMbF
— i24NEWS English (@i24NEWS_EN) October 10, 2023
Within hours of the report’s release, the term “Babies” was trending on X with over half a million posts – the vast majority of which referred to the ghastly claims in Zedek’s report.
Though many users expressed outrage and horror in response to the claims, others voiced skepticism and doubt.
Is there any actual proof of Hamas decapitating 40 babies? I’ve seen video of dead babies coming out of Gaza but I have yet to see any proof of the other.
I just think that’s odd.
If there’s proof, it’s obviously horrific.
But “trust me bro” isn’t enough to convince me.
— Karlyn Borysenko (@DrKarlynB) October 10, 2023
Need confirmation of this outlandish story, but if true then what’s coming in Gaza is already written and there’s no point in crying or complaining about it. If this is the level they’ve descended to, then the blood of every dead Palestinian civilian is solely on the hands of… https://t.co/u0b8GsBnuu
— Martyr Made (@martyrmade) October 10, 2023
It’s all so exhausting.
Propaganda is churning out at record speed. https://t.co/KdJxNL3pzK
— Tower Gang Jose (@TowerGangJose) October 10, 2023
I am gathering a list of all the “reporters” who are claiming the story about the beheaded babies is true. If this turns out to be false, and it gets reported a year from now when it served its purpose, I will never, ever stop reminding you of who spread this lie. We will see.
— ☀️👀 (@zei_squirrel) October 10, 2023
Journalist Max Blumenthal, editor-in-chief of the independent media outlet The Grayzone, pointed out that Zedek appeared to modify her claim in a subsequent post.
“So far, the lone source for the claim that 40 babies were beheaded and/or killed by Gaza militants was [Zedek],” he wrote. “She’s since issued a clarification stating death toll is ‘unknown.’”
So far, the lone source for the claim that 40 babies were beheaded and/or killed by Gaza militants was @Nicole_Zedek, an Israeli state sponsored media reporter citing “soldiers.” She’s since issued a clarification stating death toll is “unknown.” https://t.co/2S6lmU8eus
— Max Blumenthal (@MaxBlumenthal) October 10, 2023
Soldiers told me they believe 40 babies/children were killed. The exact death toll is still unknown as the military continues to go house to house and find more Israeli casualties. https://t.co/PEGSFXgb9x
— Nicole Zedeck (@Nicole_Zedek) October 10, 2023
Other users questioned if the report of decapitated babies was an attempt to rally support for U.S. intervention and drew comparisons to the false Nayirah testimony that preceded escalation of the Gulf War under President George H. W. Bush.
Everyone knows about about WMD’s in Iraq hoax starting a war, but most don’t know about the “babies in incubators” hoax, which changed public opinion and got the US into the first Iraq war.
— Cernovich (@Cernovich) October 10, 2023
Until there is any evidence, the 40 Israeli babies story is getting filed right next to “Iraqi soldiers threw babies from their incubators”. pic.twitter.com/f5NvvP4L6O
— Kimber Maddox 🍀⏳🎗🕊 (@MeanPanduh) October 10, 2023
Sounds alot like “babies in incubators” but idk. https://t.co/P4QTblgw73
— TopLobsta (@TopLobsta) October 10, 2023
“Beheaded babies” sound a lot like “babies in incubators.”
Obviously, horrifying if true.
But remember, war-time propaganda is on a different level.
— Being Libertarian (@beinlibertarian) October 10, 2023
Did they pull them out of incubators first? https://t.co/6fHnsf7Rj9
— Toad (@TowerGangToad) October 10, 2023
She just told me 40 Jewish babies were taken out on gurneys
I tend to believe her… again 😆 pic.twitter.com/HvOxGJS84n
— Peter R. Quinones (@PeterRQuinones) October 10, 2023
On Oct. 10, 1990, exactly 33 years ago, a 15-year-old girl named Nayirah testified before the U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus that she witnessed Iraqi soldiers remove babies from incubators and leave them to die in Kuwait.
Two years later, it was revealed that Nayirah was the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S.
“According to the New York Times in 1992, the girl’s testimony was actually orchestrated by the big public relations firm Hill & Knowlton on behalf of a client, the Kuwaiti-sponsored Citizens for a Free Kuwait. The client’s aim was to secure military support from the U.S. through raising awareness about the dangers posed to Kuwait by Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein,” per Citizen Truth.
BBC reports that Bush “publicly touted this tall tale at least six times as he blew the bugle of war.”
“People who lived through the ‘incubator babies’ lies falling for the now ‘decapitated babies’ propaganda has to be peak fail for the U.S. populace,” said RT journalist Fiorella Isabel.
People who lived through the “incubator babies” lies falling for the now “decapitated babies” propaganda has to be peak fail for the U.S. populace. pic.twitter.com/f8VHQpGxRm
— Fiorella Isabel (@FiorellaIsabelM) October 10, 2023
“Throughout the fake ‘Hamas beheaded 40 children’ psyop, there wasn’t a single image of one of the supposed beheaded babies, no images of them when they were alive, no names nor ages, and no parents family members or came forward to say their child had been beheaded,” wrote Redacted correspondent Dan Cohen. “It was all based on unverified claims and ‘beliefs’ from the Israeli military.”
Throughout the fake “Hamas beheaded 40 children” psyop, there wasn’t a single image of one of the supposed beheaded babies, no images of them when they were alive, no names nor ages, and no parents family members or came forward to say their child had been beheaded. It was all… https://t.co/LudWrxhbfL
— Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) October 10, 2023
“Are you referring to the same corporate news media outlets that reported on babies being taken from incubators, WMD, or shelving the Jeffery Epstein story, a likely Mossad agent? Those guys?” asked another X user.
Are you referring to the same corporate news media outlets that reported on babies being taken from incubators, WMD, or shelving the Jeffery Epstein story, a likely Mossad agent? Those guys? pic.twitter.com/ktrFLdc16e
— Lizard People In Planes (@ManyFacedAnarch) October 10, 2023
An Anadolu report published Tuesday afternoon said an Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that they have no information confirming allegations that “Hamas beheaded babies.”
When the outlet contacted the spokesperson for comment, she replied, “We have seen the news, but we do not have any details or confirmation about that.”