Gaza war: Israel army behind inflammatory '72 Virgins' Telegram channel

Gaza war: Israel army behind inflammatory '72 Virgins' Telegram channel
The Israeli army has finally admitted that it is behind an inflammatory anti-Palestinian Telegram channel.
2 min read
06 February, 2024
Among the images published by the administrators of the '72 Virgins – Uncensored' Telegram channel were pictures and videos of killings, according to a media report [Artur Widak/NurPhoto/Getty-file photo]

The Israeli army has admitted it was running a Telegram channel which used inflammatory language and posted graphic content from Gaza, despite previous attempts to disassociate from it.

An army investigation found that denials of any internal connection to the "72 Virgins – Uncensored" Telegram channel were inaccurate and based on misinformation from its Influencing Department.

"[The probe] found that the Telegram page was operated by the IDF [military] without authorisation and without authority," the Israeli army alleged. "The incident has been dealt with."

As a result of the findings, the tenure of the wartime commander of the department within the army was ended, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

The administrators of the Telegram channel regularly posted graphic pictures and videos of killings, the daily said.

One post from 11 October said: "Burning their mother… You won't believe the video we got! You can hear their bones crunch.

"We'll post it right away, get ready."

Pictures of detained Palestinian men, held by the Israeli forces in Gaza, and corpses Haaretz alleged belonged to "militants" were posted with accompanying text reading: "Exterminating the roaches… exterminating the Hamas rats… Share this beauty."

Sources previously told Haaretz that army Influencing Department staff created the Telegram channel on 9 October, a mere two days into Israel's war on Gaza.

The staff members were not officially authorised to take this action, according to the sources.

The department oversees psychological and propaganda campaigns aimed at "the enemy and foreign audiences", Haaretz said, but the Telegram channel was intended for domestic consumption.

Israel's war on Gaza has so far killed nearly 27,500 people in the strip - the majority of whom were women and children.

The assault has seen residential buildings, hospitals, and ambulances indiscriminately attacked.

The International Court of Justice in January found that Israel was plausibly breaching the Genocide Convention in Gaza.