Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin on Sunday vowed to criminalize the denial of Hamas’s Oct. 7 atrocities amid claims by an Arab Israeli lawmaker that the terror group didn’t murder children or rape women.
“A few days ago, I directed officials at the Justice Ministry to formulate a bill that would ban the denial of the massacre and institute severe punishment for those who do so,” Levin told Israel’s Ynetnews.
Thousands of Hamas terrorists invaded southern Israel from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, killing some 1,400 Israelis and wounding thousands more. At least 240 Israelis and foreign nationals were taken back to Gaza as hostages.
In Kibbutz Kfar Aza alone, Hamas terrorists murdered more than 100 people, including 40 infants, some of whom were beheaded.
During an interview with the Knesset Channel on Sunday, Ra’am Party Knesset Member Iman Khatib-Yassin argued that Hamas “didn’t slaughter babies, at least from what we saw in the footage, and they didn’t rape women.”
The remarks came only days after members of Israel’s parliament were invited to view a compilation of video footage showing some of the atrocities that Hamas committed. The film, which was shown behind closed doors, included footage captured by body cameras worn by Hamas terrorists, security cameras, dash cams, smartphones and social media accounts.
“I couldn’t watch it, but I heard about it first-hand … I avoid watching such clips because they only cause more pain,” Khatib-Yassin told the Knesset Channel.
Following the interview, Ra’am, an Islamist party affiliated with Israel’s Southern Islamic Movement, reportedly asked Khatib-Yassin to resign from the Knesset.
“I and the other members of the party strongly condemned from the first moment the shocking massacre in the south,” local media quoted Ra’am Party leader Mansour Abbas as saying.