'Bodies everywhere': Israel tells of 'barbaric' acts as officials vow Gaza siege won't end until hostages are free

12 October 2023, 09:37 | Updated: 12 October 2023, 10:54

Israel tells of Hamas' ‘barbaric’ acts
Israel tells of Hamas' ‘barbaric’ acts. Picture: Social media/Getty

By Emma Soteriou

Israel's military have confirmed that babies were beheaded in Hamas' "barbaric" attack on Israeli civilians over the weekend as officials vow the Gaza siege will not end until hostages are released.

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Israeli Defence Forces spokesman Jonathan Conricus said a coroner visited the aftermath of the massacre at a kibbutz close to the Gaza Strip.

He saw the children's bodies and confirmed how they died, Mr Conricus said.

"I admit it took us some time to really understand and to verify that report, and it was hard to believe that even Hamas could perform such a barbaric act," he added.

"I think we can now say, with relative confidence, that this is what Hamas did... there were bodies scattered everywhere, mutilated."

In the aftermath of the attacks, witnesses described horrific scenes as they found bloody rooms filled with massacred civilians.

It was said that Hamas gunmen had raped women and beheaded children.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said "every Hamas member is a dead man" in a televised address to his nation as he vowed to "crush and destroy" the group.

Read more: Devastated father tearfully says the death of his daughter, 8, at the hands of Hamas is a ‘blessing’

Read more: 'When this is over there will be a new reality in Gaza': Advisor to Israeli PM says pledging to 'dismantle Hamas'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Picture: Getty

It comes amid growing calls for a humanitarian corridor in Gaza after its only power station was shut down.

Doctors working in the besieged said hospital generators only have "a few days left". If electricity runs out, vital life-saving equipment such as operating theatres and mechanical ventilators will not be able to function.

But Israel's energy minister said on Thursday morning that Gaza will remain cut off until all of the hostages Hamas took are returned.

"Humanitarian aid to Gaza? No electrical switch will be turned on, no water hydrant will be opened and no fuel truck will enter until the Israeli abductees are returned home," Israel Katz tweeted.

"Humanitarian for humanitarian. And no one will preach us morals."

An explosion in Gaza
An explosion in Gaza. Picture: Getty

The UN's Secretary General Antontio Guterres previously called for essentials to be supplied to civilians in Gaza, including food and water.

"Crucial lifesaving supplies including fuel, food and water must be allowed into Gaza. We need rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access now," he said.

"I want to thank Egypt for its constructive engagement to facilitate humanitarian access through the Rafah crossing and to make the El Arish airport available for critical assistance."

Read More: British danger tourist 'Lord Miles' released by Taliban captors - as he announces intention to 'pop down' to war-torn Israel

Read More: ‘I’m going to cut your head off’, Hamas supporter tells British shop worker days after Israel attacks

The United States is currently in talks with the UN, as well as Israel and Egypt, about allowing some humanitarian aid into Gaza, and some civilians out.

Civilian corridors would need to be set up in order for residents in Gaza to get out safely.

President Joe Biden said the weekend attack by Hamas militants on Israel was the deadliest against Jews since the Holocaust.

The president said: "This attack was a campaign of pure cruelty, not just hate, but pure cruelty against the Jewish people."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Picture: Getty

It was confirmed on Wednesday that a war cabinet had been formed in Israel following the attacks.

Meanwhile, 11 workers from UN's Palestinian refugee agency have been killed in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza, which have been taking place since Saturday.

So far, 1,200 Israelis have been killed and 2,700 more have been injured, according to the Israeli Defence Force (IDF).

At least 1,100 Palestinians have been killed, with more than 5,100 injured.

Gaza has run out of electricity
Gaza has run out of electricity. Picture: Getty

Some 17 British nationals are either confirmed dead or missing. Earlier on Wednesday, the family of British man Jake Marlowe confirmed he had died after a Hamas massacre over the weekend.

Mr Marlowe, 26, had been missing for several days after Hamas launched an attack on southern Israel on Saturday.

His parents said: "We are heartbroken to have to inform you the crushing news that our son Jake has been confirmed dead in Southern Israel.

"Repatriation plans are being put in to place, more information will follow. Please respect our privacy at this most devastating time."

At least 22 Americans have died in the attacks.