Telling the truth in the Middle East

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on David’s Tent, a ministry of Israeli believers Avner and Rachel Boskey. The Boskey’s have ministered at Tabernacle of David, and we consider them trustworthy and Biblically sound.

“In war, truth is the first casualty,” said the Greek playwright Aeschylus. For the jihadi terror organization Hamas, it seems that truth is actually one of its first targets. The tsunami of disinformation, lies, propaganda and denials that is rushing out of the mouths of Hamas spokesmen and leaders catches many Westerners off-guard. But those who have followed Hamas’ bloodied trail of falsehood, atrocities and massacres over the years, none of this is surprising.

This newsletter examines some of the more outstanding deceptions that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority have engaged in over the last month.


Prophecies are not always bright and cheery

In 1 Kings 22 the Davidic king Jehoshaphat found himself manipulated into a military alliance with Ahab king of Israel against the king of Aram (modern Syria). Ahab was a wicked king (1 Kings 21:25). He and his Sidonian (Lebanese) wife Jezebel spread Baal worship (which included human sacrifice) throughout the land of Israel (1 Kings 18:19) and spilled much blood of YHVH’s prophets and servants (2 Kings 9:7).

Before setting out to war on the Golan Heights, Jehoshaphat felt uneasy and wanted prophetic confirmation from the God of Jacob. Ahab assembled 400 prophets in his court who officially were followers of YHVH, and this prophetic guild gave the kings a uniformly positive answer: “Go up, for YHVH will hand it over to the king!”  But Jehoshaphat was still uncomfortable: “Is there no longer a [true] prophet of YHVH here, that we may inquire of him?” And the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “There is still one man by whom we may inquire of YHVH, but I hate him, because he does not prophesy anything good regarding me, but only bad. He is Micaiah the son of Imlah.”

Micaiah was summoned to the royal court post haste, but on his way there he warned Ahab’s courtiers, “As YHVH lives, whatever YHVH says to me, I shall speak it.”   When Ahab demanded a prophetic word from him, he said, “Go up and succeed, for YHVH will hand it over to the king!”  Evidently Micaiah spoke these words with heavy sarcasm, for Ahab then said to him, “How many times must I make you swear that you will tell me nothing but the truth in the name of YHVH?” Then Micaiah said, “I saw all Israel scattered on the mountains, like sheep that have no shepherd. And YHVH said, ‘These people have no master. Each of them is to return to his house in peace.’” Then the king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Did I not tell you that he would not prophesy anything good regarding me, but only bad?” (see 1 Kings 22:1-28).


Video is truer than fiction

When Hamas jihadi terrorists broke into neighboring Israeli kibbutzim and towns on the early morning of October 7, 2023, they recorded their mass rapes, tortures, murders and kidnappings on GoPro helmet cameras, streaming the atrocities live in real-time. We do not advise anyone to watch these jihadi snuff videos on social media. For those who are not aware of the horrors Hamas carried out, here is a link to one journalist’s description of those events, after he had watched Hamas video footage made available to journalists by the Israeli Press Office. The descriptions are shocking and graphic, describing the demonic activities engaged in by Hamas. And here is another article dealing with how Israel’s Forensic Pathology Center verifies the identities of Israeli human remains after bodies have been mutilated and burned alive by Hamas jihadi terrorists.

Yet, even with these graphic videos circulating freely on social media, Hamas quickly began to deny that these terror events had actually happened. Hamas issued a blanket denial – the 1,200 murder victims were not actually civilians – they were really IDF soldiers. There were no beheadings of women, men and babies; no mass rapes; no burning of living families to death while tied together; etc.  Here are four examples of many, where Hamas flatly denies what can be clearly seen on Hamas video footage:


  • Hamas Deputy Politburo leader Moussa Abu Marzouk told the BBC in a TV interview (also aired in Saudi Arabia) that “women, children and civilians were exempt” from Hamas’ attacks. Marzouk claimed that Mohamed el-Deif, the leader of Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades jihadi wing, had ordered his men to spare civilians: “El-Deif clearly told his fighters ‘Don’t kill a woman, don’t kill a child and don’t kill an old man,’” Marzouk added that only IDF reservist soldiers “were targeted,” and that only “conscripts or soldiers” were killed; women, children and civilians were “exempt,” he said.


Marzouk’s claims, says the BBC, “are in stark contrast to the wealth of evidence of Hamas men shooting unarmed adults and children . . . A huge body of evidence has been gathered which documents the range of bloody acts committed by Hamas in Israel on 7 October. BBC journalists went to the scene of the attacks in their immediate aftermath and saw the bodies of civilians who had been killed. We have also verified CCTV footage which captured shootings by Hamas. Separately, footage from Hamas body cameras has been shown to the BBC and other journalists by the Israeli government. Other international news organizations have also pieced together, and verified, evidence of what happened on the day.”


  • Dr Basem Naim, Head of Political and International Relations in Hamas, stated on Sky News (short video or longer video): “ No one can confirm any of this news . . . We didn’t kill any civilians . . . They are not civilians! You and the Israeli propaganda are defining; they are not civilians . . .  I cannot confirm this Israeli propaganda . . .  No, we don’t have killed any civilians . . . We have to redefine what it means ‘civilian.’ . . . The hostages will be treated in a human way, in a proper way . . . We might lose some of these hostages because of the Israeli attacks and bombardment . .  100% I can guarantee that these hostages [will be safe from harm by Hamas] . . . Atrocities? This is your assessment. Who accepted your assessment that these are atrocities? El-Deif said to treat hostages in a proper, dignified way.”


  • In a CNN interview, Naim stated: “We firmly deny these allegations as we reject this media bias, and we call on media to abide by the journalistic code of ethics.” He said that Hamas “firmly” denied involvement in the killing and beheading of infants, and said that allegations were “unethically and unprofessionally adopted by western media outlets.” Naim said that the October 7, 2023 murderous assault was a “defensive operation . . .  The operation targeted only the Israeli military bases and compounds . . .  There were clear instructions from the top commanders of al-Qassam Brigades to avoid targeting civilians or killing them.” Naim promised that the Israeli hostages would be treated “in accordance with our religious values and the rules of international humanitarian law.” However, Naim said, “we are really worried that since the Israeli aggression is everywhere in Gaza, they might be the victims of the Israeli army bombardment just like our people.”


  • Hamas senior Politburo member Izzat al-Rishq spoke on CNN on Wednesday October 11, 2023 that reports “spread lies about our Palestinian people and the resistance claiming that members of the Palestinian resistance beheaded children and attacked women with no evidence to support such claims and lies . . . We strongly condemn the fabricated and baseless allegations promoted by the occupation in an attempt to cover up for the massacres, crimes and genocide committed [by Israel] in Gaza.”



The Palestinian Authority accuses Israeli helicopters of bombing an Israel music festival

In official statement released worldwide to foreign ministries and the UN on Sunday November 18, 2023, the Palestinian Authority’s Finance Ministry claimed that Israeli helicopters arrived at the Nova Music Festival near Kibbutz Re’im on October 7 and bombed Israeli civilians, causing the deaths of at least 350 participants. The Palestinian Authority denied in that statement that Hamas terrorists carried out the massacre at the music festival, even though there were many GoPro video clips taken by Hamas jihadis of their slaughtering of the Jewish festival attendees. The PA stated that Israel then used ‘fake news of a massacre’ “to justify its aggression against Gaza.”  Hamas released a statement as well, saying that an “Israeli fighter jet” bombed the area near the Gaza border, leading to the deaths of hundreds.

According to the Israel Police, the first Israeli helicopter reached the festival compound only at 11:12 a.m., hours after the massacre had begun.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Abbas’ words, saying, “Today, the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah said something utterly preposterous. It denied that it was Hamas that carried out the horrible massacre at the nature festival near Gaza. It actually accused Israel of carrying out that massacre. This is a complete reversal of truth. Abbas, who in the past has denied the existence of the Holocaust, today is denying the existence of the Hamas massacre and that’s unacceptable.”


US puts the Palestinian Authority in a headlock

A US National Security Council spokesman said that the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ public statement denying Hamas’ massacre of Israeli civilians at the Nova music festival and blaming Israel instead, “does not respect the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in the terrible terrorist attack carried out by Hamas in October 7. We understand that the Palestinian Authority removed it from their website, and we are glad that the Palestinian Authority has since clarified that this is not their official position.” Actually, the PA did not publish a public announcement correcting the false claims, but simply removed the false statement from its official website. Individuals who heard the phone call between the PA and the US discussing the matter noted that the American side was raising his voice a lot.


  • America has papered over another mini-crisis, but does the US understand exactly who the Palestinian leadership is and what they really believe?


Israeli hostages, Gazan hospitals

Hamas has vociferously declared that it is not using Gazan hospitals for military purposes; that it is not hiding hostages, its own soldiers or weapons at hospitals; that it has no underground military infrastructure under Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital:


  • Izzat al-Rishq, Hamas Politburo member, denied allegations that the group was using the al-Shifa hospital as a shield for its underground military infrastructure, and said the claims are “baseless” and have “no basis in truth.” He added that “these lies represent a prelude to a new massacre against our people.”


  • Hamas Politburo member Osama Hamdan dismissed Israeli information about Hamas operations at al-Shifa and other hospitals in Gaza as “lies,” and condemned US support for them as “silly and stupid.” At a Beirut news conference Hamdan stated: “This is the truth that the occupation is lying about, just as they lied about the [music] festival.”


  • Hamdan claimed no command or control rooms or one of the abductees had been found in the hospital. He claimed, “the forced evacuation of the hospital and its transformation into a military camp was the height of moral and human degradation, a war crime and a crime against humanity” (Palinfo, November 18, 2023; al-Jazeera TV YouTube channel, November 18, 2023).


  • Ghazi Hamad, a senior Hamas leader, rejected the Israeli claims about Shifa as “false and misleading propaganda . . . The occupying forces have no evidence to prove it. We have never used civilians as human shields because it goes against our religion, morality and principles.”


  • Turkey is one of Hamas’ main supporters; many operations are planned there and much money is funneled through that country. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency published headlines stating “No sign of hostages at Gaza’s Al-Shifa Hospital.”


The BBC’s Jeremy Bowen, in an acid-tongued op-ed, states: “We have to remember that there is no independent scrutiny inside the hospital; journalists cannot move freely into Gaza, and any who are reporting from the site are working under the aegis of the Israeli military. The evidence Israel has produced, so far, I do not believe to be convincing . . . So, for Israel it’s crucial to prove that it had no choice other than to use methods that killed thousands of civilians, so that its allies will continue to shield it from international pressure for a ceasefire.”

In the past two days the IDF released surveillance camera footage from al-Shifa Hospital, showing Hamas terrorists bringing two hostages (a Nepali and a Thai who were both abducted from Israel on the morning of October 7, 2023) into al-Shifa Hospital at 10:55 a.m. – four hours after Hamas’ attack on Israel had begun. Hamas terrorists are seen fully armed, and the hospital’s doctors are fully cooperating with the jihadis. Two Hamas terrorists are manhandling the Thai hostage through the hospital wards. Stolen IDF vehicles and Hamas pickup trucks used for the attacks and kidnappings are seen in al-Shifa’s courtyards. Al-Shifa was a pre-planned stop for the terrorists, and the first stop for some (or many) of the Israeli hostages.

The dead bodies of two kidnapped Israelis were found next to al-Shifa hospital, both of them murdered. So far three hostages have been identified as having being murdered by Hamas, with videos released by Hamas of the victims.


  • Hamas has been lying and deceiving in nearly everything it has said about the October 7, 2023 massacre and the days following. Hamas is guilty of war crimes (which include murders of all kinds, mass rape, torture, kidnapping, and wanton destruction of homes, farms and kibbutzim). Hamas is falsifying Gazan casualty statistics. Hamas is guilty of a double war-crime – firing deadly rockets from Gazan civilian areas and firing into Israeli civilian areas).


How should we then pray?


  • Pray for clarity, moral courage, discernment and strategies for Israel’s leadership at all levels in destroying the Hamas threat


  • Pray for Israel’s leaders to withstand international pressure so that Hamas’ cruel terror dictatorship in Gaza can finally be shattered


  • Pray for minimal loss of life on Israel’s side and for those Gazans who are truly innocent


  • Pray for the physical rescue of the approximately 238 Israelis (including babies) kidnapped by Hamas. Three of those kidnapped have been murdered by Hamas while in captivity, their bodies discovered in buildings adjoining al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City


  • Pray that the outstretched arm of YHVH will not return before it brings justice to God’s enemies


  • Pray for the raising up of Ezekiel’s prophetic Jewish army throughout the earth


Your prayers and support hold up our arms and are the very practical enablement of God to us in the work He has called us to do.

In Messiah Yeshua,

Avner Boskey

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