Israeli humanitarian volunteer shares ‘incredible’ violence seen after Hamas attack

Warning: Some of the details below may be appealing to readers.

Israeli volunteer Irene Nurith Cohn has witnessed some of the most horrible realities of the October 7. Hamas terrorist attack and now he talks about his experience helping collect bodies of people who were brutally murdered.

Cohn is in Canada as part of a delegation from Zaka, a humanitarian organization that was on the ground after the attack in Israel.

She is part of a group of people sharing their experience around the world, raising awareness to ensure there is no doubt about what happened during the attack that killed approximately 1,200 Israeli citizens.

“I thank God that he gave me the strength to do this because what we’ve seen has been incredible,” he said in an emotional interview with CTV News Toronto on Thursday. “I don’t think the world will ever understand that these are my friends. My family and friends.”

Cohn showed CTV News images of people killed in the attack. Many of the photographs taken by one of her colleagues show mutilated bodies.

“We saw bodies, where, you know, women [are] no underwear, blood from the legs, men where [are] burn[ed] around the genitals. I have seen decapitated bodies. “I saw a leg here, an arm here.”

Days after the conflict, the 59-year-old volunteered to join the effort. Cohn, a social worker by profession, is also a scuba diver and specializes in body recovery.

Two or three times a week for three months. She said she traveled for more than an hour, venturing into the area where attendees of an Israeli music festival were killed and kidnapped, as well as the affected kibbutzim.

At first, he helped bag bodies. Afterwards, he cleaned the houses of the murdered and collected ashes from people burned in their cars.

She said she was motivated to give the dead a proper burial and give families the closure they need.

This week, Cohn met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Conservative Leader Pierre Poilievre, other senior government officials and community groups to share his testimony.

In these images Irene Nurith Cohn is seen with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Conservative leader PIerre Poilievre. (Supplied)

“Sometimes when I was at the beginning, I felt like I would be called a hero. I don’t identify with that. I just did what I thought was right,” she said.

“I was the only woman present. Then another woman joined me and that was it. There were hundreds of men and only me. And I felt privileged and very, very proud.”

The October 7 terrorist attack in Israel has led to a protracted war. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has said that almost 32,000 Palestinians have been killed as a result.

If you or someone you know is struggling with sexual assault or trauma, the following resources are available to help people in crisis:

  • If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety, you should call 911.
  • A full list of sexual assault centers in Canada offering information, advocacy and counseling can be found on the website Canadian Association of Sexual Assault Centers.
  • Helplines, legal services, and locations offering sexual assault kits can be found in Alberta, BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario, and Nova Scotia. here.
  • National Residential School Crisis Line: +1 866 925 4419
  • 24-hour crisis line: 416 597 8808
  • Canadian Human Trafficking Hotline: +1 833 900 1010
  • Trans lifeline: +1 877 330 6366
  • Support in cases of sexual misconduct for current or former members of the Armed Forces: +1 844 750 1648
  • Read about your rights as a victim here.

Leave a Comment