A recent report from Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper, has brought to light allegations of the Israeli army misleading the public through social media channels, particularly focusing on its operations in the Gaza Strip. This revelation comes alongside official data on Israeli military casualties during the recent ground offensive in Gaza, which includes a significant number of deaths attributed to friendly fire.
Controversial Telegram Channel: Propaganda or Misrepresentation?
According to Haaretz, the Israeli army is allegedly operating a Telegram channel named "72 Virgins – Uncensored". This channel, established shortly after the October 7 attack, is accused of posting graphic images of the purported bodies of Hamas members, as well as other explicit content from Gaza.
With over 5,300 followers, the channel's posts are designed to encourage the sharing of pictures and videos depicting the destruction in the enclave. One particular post from October 14, showing a video of an Israeli vehicle running over a body, was titled “Exclusive video of a good night, don’t forget to share and repost”.
While the Israeli army has officially denied any involvement in operating this channel, an unnamed official told Haaretz that the army was indeed responsible for it. These allegations, if true, raise serious concerns about the propagation of graphic content and the authenticity of information being circulated.
Friendly Fire and Accidents: A Significant Toll on Israeli Soldiers
In a separate but related development, new data released by the Israeli army and reported by local media revealed that out of the 105 Israeli soldiers killed during the ground offensive in Gaza, 20 were victims of friendly fire or involved in shooting accidents.
The Times of Israel reported that 13 of these deaths were due to friendly fire incidents, including airstrikes, tank fire, and gunfire. Additional fatalities occurred due to accidental misfires or shrapnel from explosives deliberately set off by Israeli forces. Some Israeli soldiers were also reportedly killed after being mistakenly identified as Hamas fighters.