Israeli org. Zaka fabricated Oct. 7 allegations to solicit donations

Over $13.7M collected since October 2023

(Photo: Twitter/X)
TEL AVIV — A recent investigation has uncovered that the Israeli organization Zaka, which has been involved in search and rescue operations following the events of October 7, 2023, fabricated allegations against the Palestinian resistance to incite the war and raise donations due to being bankrupt, Khaberni reported. اضافة اعلان

The Intercept reported that the assignment of the head of operations at Zaka to collect the remains of Israeli casualties after October 7 led to significant media attention worldwide. The organization faced scrutiny for fabricating ‘horrific atrocities’ against Hamas, including claiming to witness an Israeli woman submerged in a pool of blood, with allegations that she was slashed open and her fetus stabbed, along with dozens of false accounts of executions, beheadings, rapes, and more.

The investigation confirmed that not a single piece of evidence was found for the acts the organization claimed to have occurred on October 7.

Regarding the incident involving the Israeli woman and her fetus, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the alleged killing did not take place. It also highlighted discrepancies in the reported deaths of certain individuals, affirming instead that they were killed by gunfire from an Israeli tank.

Another report by the newspaper revealed that following October 7, senior Israeli military leaders sidelined specialized soldiers responsible for retrieving bodies and preserving evidence. Instead, they deployed untrained volunteers from Zaka. These volunteers converted the affected sites into 'donation war rooms,' exploiting corpses to solicit donations while spreading fictitious accounts. This undermined the pivotal role of forensic medicine, essential for the Israel’s claim that Hamas orchestrated a ‘deliberate mass rape campaign’.

However, the newspaper reported that while some media outlets cast doubt on Zaka's accounts of child decapitations and assaults on women, the investigations into these claims were lackluster. Furthermore, the southern operations chief of Zaka admitted to occasional misspeaking in the immediate aftermath of October 7.

Multiple media outlets also highlighted that Zaka had been entangled in sexual assault and financial scandals for decades, labeling its employees as 'myth-makers' who embellish stories excessively.

An official from Zaka claimed that naked women were tied to trees, recounting finding a young child with a knife wound to the head and a woman's mutilated body under rubble, her organs removed. However, these accounts were dismissed as ‘pure fiction’ by numerous Israeli media outlets due to the lack of confirmation from any individuals or sources.

Additionally, several reports characterized Zaka volunteers as integral to the Israeli ‘propaganda machine’, as they effectively bolster and reinforce Israel's rationale for its war on the Gaza Strip.

Zaka's fundraising controversy and operational deficiencies
Moreover, Haaretz indicated that the narratives propagated by Zaka were concocted by the organization itself, which depends on donations and government contracts to sustain its operations. The newspaper published an image of Zaka personnel engaging in fundraising activities near a deceased individual, prompting observations from other rescue organizations that Zaka volunteers were conducting fundraising calls and recording videos with corpses in the background. Subsequently, in the second week following October 7, the Ministry of War initiated compensation for their efforts on the ground.

According to the newspaper, all available evidence suggests that Zaka was in need of financial support, as the group was facing financial distress on October 7. An investigation conducted by the newspaper in 2022 revealed that Zaka had received millions of dollars in public funds over the past five years by exaggerating its number of volunteers threefold. The organization was also plagued by financial scandals and cases of sexual assault, which had not been investigated by the Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF).

The newspaper also estimated that Zaka has collected a minimum of $13.7 million since October 7, explaining that Zaka actively seeks donations through multiple social media platforms and invests in Google ads to enhance its fundraising campaigns. After the events of October 7, donations began pouring in for the organization. Zaka was among the recipients of the $242 million donated by the Jewish Federations of North America (JFNA). Moreover, billionaire Roman Abramovich committed $2.2 million to support Zaka's initiatives.

Furthermore, Haaretz reported that Zaka's documentation of remains was inadequate, as they often placed parts of different bodies in a single bag and failed to collect all the remains from homes and fields.

The newspaper pointed out that Zaka acknowledges shortcomings in the testimony provided by its members, stating, "Volunteers are not experts in forensic science and do not have the professional tools to identify the victim's identity and age or declare how they were killed, except for eyewitnesses.”

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