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LONDON: A recent investigation by Israeli newspaper Haaretz has brought to light a controversial Telegram account, allegedly linked to the Israeli military, that has been sharing graphic content depicting the killing of Hamas members and the destruction of the Gaza Strip.

Named “72 Virgins — Uncensored,” the account is said to operate under the Israel Defense Forces’ Influencing Department, responsible for psychological warfare.

According to the outlet report, more than 700 posts on the account include disturbing images and videos, with captions glorifying violence and expressing hostility toward Hamas and Palestinian people.

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An anonymous senior military official confirmed that the channel is run by the army and expressed concern about the content, stating that the messages on the account do not align with the IDF’s mission and resemble talking points associated with certain far-right figures.

“The messages there are problematic. It doesn’t look like an awareness campaign of an army like the IDF, but more like talking points for (far-right rapper) The Shadow, and the fact that soldiers operate such a problematic page is egregious,” the unnamed official is reported as saying.

Haaretz confirmed that the channel had been created on Oct. 9, two days after the beginning of the conflict.

Each night, the channel posts a daily summary that includes several IDF updates on the activity in Gaza, with promises of showcasing “exclusive content from the Gaza Strip.”

“As always, we’re the first to bring you the information from the field,” it said. “We have crazy recordings of terrorists, how can we put it, swimming with the fishes. We have documentation no one else has. We promise much more!!!”

One video, posted on Oct. 14, showed an Israeli vehicle running over the body of a Hamas militant, accompanied by a provocative caption and urging followers to share and repost.

“Very good, Gershon!!! Run him over, run him over!!!! Screw the bastards! Flatten them,” the accompanying post said.

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On Oct. 11, another post teased an upcoming video with a disturbing description, celebrating members of the Beitar Jerusalem soccer team’s violently racist fan club, La Familia.

The content showcased the group rioting at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, near Tel Aviv, following a rumor that Hamas terrorists, who had reportedly invaded Israel, were being treated at the medical facility.

The IDF denied that it operates the channel with a spokesperson stating: “If there was any connection by soldiers or other parties connected to the IDF with the page or its operation, this was done without approval and without authority.”

Over the years, the IDF has employed psychological warfare tactics aimed at undermining adversaries’s narratives and swaying public opinion.

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Hareetz said that it had uncovered similar operations by IDF.

In 2021, the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit conducted a deceptive campaign aimed at boosting awareness of IDF attacks, using fake social media accounts to share images of destruction in the Gaza Strip.

Officials in the spokesperson’s unit admitted, after the operation was exposed, that they had “erred.”

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