To: Interested Parties
From: The 10/7 Project
Re: 100 Days Since October 7th, Israel is Fighting and Uncovering Hamas’s Terror
Contact: [email protected]
In the 100 days since October 7th, when Hamas terrorists massacred 1,200 people and abducted about 240 hostages in the most deadly attack on Jews since the Holocaust, disturbing new evidence has brought to light the true extent of Hamas’s horrific war crimes. The terrorist group’s documented use of sexual and gender-based violence, child soldiers, and human shields shows not only their criminality, but also their disregard for the Palestinian lives they claim to represent.
During the same period, Israel’s military campaign against Hamas has achieved significant progress toward its stated objectives. Today, Israel is closer than ever to eliminating Hamas. Absent Israel’s actions to defend itself, Hamas leaders have pledged to commit additional 10/7-style massacres “again and again.”
100 Days of Israel’s Military Progress
1. Israel is eliminating Hamas terrorist combatants. Since launching its campaign against Hamas, Israel has killed or captured between 8,000 to 9,000 Hamas terrorists. Experts estimate this figure represents around one-third of Hamas’s pre-war strength of approximately 30,000 fighters. As of today, the IDF has destroyed more than 700 Hamas rocket launchers in Gaza. Israel has lost 187 soldiers in the fighting, including nine soldiers killed on Monday, one of the IDF’s biggest 24-hour death tolls since the war began.
2. Hamas’s terrorist leaders are being brought to justice. Hamas’s military and governance leadership has been severely degraded. Israeli officials say the IDF has eliminated “about half of Hamas’s battalion commanders,” significantly reducing the group’s ability to carry out terrorist actions.
Hamas in November admitted an Israeli strike eliminated five senior commanders, including Ahmed Ghandour, commander of Hamas’s Northern Gaza Brigade; Wael Rajab, the brigade’s deputy commander; Ayman Siyyam, head of Hamas’s rocket division; and senior commanders Raafat Salman and Farsan Khalifa. The IDF also eliminated the head of Hamas’s weapons development; the commander of Hamas’s Central Brigade; and two commanders responsible for the massacre of civilians on October 7th.
Earlier this month, a strike killed top Hamas official Saleh al-Arouri, the “mastermind” of Hamas terrorism in the West Bank and a suspected architect of the October 7th massacre. Israel has pledged to keep up the pressure and bring all the October 7th planners to justice, with one senior official saying “[Israel is] committed to bring the murderers, planners and those who sent them to account. It will take time, but we will reach them wherever they are.”
3. Israel has freed many hostages from Hamas’s captivity. In November, Israeli negotiators achieved a temporary truce in exchange for Hamas releasing over 100 hostages, including Abigail Edan, a 4-year-old American dual citizen. In December, Israel attempted to negotiate a second pause in fighting to allow for the release of more hostages, but Hamas rejected the offer. An estimated 129 hostages remain in captivity, but senior government officials have made clear Israel will “exhaust every possibility to bring them home.”
4. Americans continue to support Israel’s war effort against Hamas. National polls show a majority (54%) of U.S. adults believe Israel’s response to the October 7th massacre has been “about right” or “not harsh enough,” compared to 18% who think the campaign against Hamas has been too harsh. Americans overwhelmingly consider Israel to be an ally of the United States, and a majority support sending military aid to Israel to help in the war against Hamas. More generally, 60% of Americans say it is important for the U.S. government to provide funding for military aid to Israel.
Americans continue to support Israel in part because they know Israel takes extraordinary steps to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza. Hamas’s use of human shields puts civilians in Gaza at extraordinary risk. Despite the difficulty, Israel does everything possible to minimize civilian casualties in all operations. The IDF makes phone calls, sends text messages, and drops leaflets warning civilians of military operations in the vicinity before they occur to prevent civilian casualties. The Israeli Air Force also practices “roof knocking,” where a plane targets a building with a loud but non-lethal bomb that warns civilians they are in the vicinity of a Hamas target. This allows civilians to leave the area before the IDF targets the site with live ammunition. Hamas routinely orders civilians to ignore these warnings and instead serve as human shields, consistent with the group’s goal of maximizing civilian casualties.
On January 8th, Israel announced it was shifting to a “more targeted” phase in the war which would involve fewer troops and airstrikes.
100 Days of Hamas’s War Crimes
1. Hamas uses sexual violence as a weapon of war. The terror group weaponized rape, mutilation, and extreme brutality against women during the October 7th massacre and has continued to commit sexual violence against hostages in the 100 days since. After Hamas released dozens of hostages in late November, harrowing details emerged about the inhumane conditions and sexual abuse they faced while held captive by Hamas.
Many of the 30 freed female hostages ages 12 to 48 were sexually assaulted in Hamas captivity, according to a doctor who assessed them upon release. Aviva Siegel, released from Hamas captivity as part of a prisoner exchange deal, personally witnessed these incidents. “I met another kidnapped woman, and… the [Hamas terrorist] touched her. They didn’t let me embrace her… They tortured her beside me, and I am a witness to it. It’s unbearable,” she recounted.
Having experienced and witnessed these atrocities, the hostages demonstrated severe psychological damage and exhibited signs of post-traumatic stress disorder. Israeli doctors said Hamas gave the freed hostages tranquilizer pills at the time of their release to make them appear calm and happy after having suffered extreme physical and psychological abuse.
Many young female hostages remain in Hamas captivity, leading their families to fear the worst. U.S. State Department officials have suggested that Hamas is refusing to release the remaining Israeli women hostages to prevent them from speaking out about the sexual violence they witnessed in captivity.
2. Hamas uses civilians in Gaza as human shields. U.S. intelligence confirms that Hamas has been storing weapons and conducting military operations out of hospitals. Some freed hostages have said they were held captive in Gaza hospitals. One hostage described to CNN the hospital where Hamas held her and her family for nearly five weeks. A hospital is “a place that is supposed to take care of people, but instead it was taken over by Hamas and they used it to hide hostages,” she said.
Hamas has also positioned rockets and other weapons in residential neighborhoods and near mosques and schools. Satellite images show Hamas set up rocket launch sites feet from a kindergarten, opposite a UN building, and across the street from the Manfaluti Secondary School for Boys. A senior UN official confirmed to CBS News that Hamas fires rockets from schools operated by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). Hamas terrorists wear civilian clothes to blend in with the general population, a ruse that puts real civilians at risk. International observers have criticized Hamas for “using civilian infrastructure and civilians as shields against the Israel Defense Forces.”
3. Hamas steals food and humanitarian aid from Palestinians. Civilians in Gaza have repeatedly said Hamas steals food and aid meant for Palestinian civilians for the terrorists’ own use. Recently released video shows Hamas terrorists beating Palestinian civilians and driving away with a truckload of humanitarian aid. One Palestinian woman told regional media that Hamas has been hiding food and aid in tunnels, leaving starving Gazans empty-handed. “You brought us devastation . . . we were separated from our families, from our kids, from our wives. Release these hostages!” said one Palestinian of Hamas and Yahya Sinwar, the terrorist organization’s top leader. “We don’t even have water,” they continued. Hamas’s leadership condones stealing humanitarian aid: earlier this month, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said donations to Gaza should be used for “financial Jihad” against Israel.
4. Hamas uses child soldiers. Hamas commanders have admitted to recruiting children to carry weapons, explosives, and information to aid the war effort. Video footage released in recent weeks shows Hamas training children under 15 years of age in tunnels with mock rifles, preparing them for armed combat. Evidence shows Hamas recruits child soldiers via indoctrination and radicalization, including through puzzles and games that incite violence against Israel.
Hamas openly operates a child soldier training camp which has registered more than 50,000 children over five years, according to regional reports. The children are subjected to religious indoctrination and “security training.” According to a Hamas video promoting the camp, the Hamas militants know these children are likely to die, stating they must be ready to make “sacrifices.”