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Hamas militants took pills that gave them courage and euphoria

Hamas militants took pills that gave them courage and euphoria

Hundreds of Hamas militants were killed or captured alive during the October 7 attack, when they killed 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped 240 others, which sparked the war in Gaza. Israeli officials told VOA Jerusalem correspondent Linda Gradstein that many of the militants were carrying Captagon amphetamine tablets, a stimulant that creates a high effect of euphoria and courage. Viewers are warned that the following chronicle contains serious images.

A number of witnesses stated that many of the Hamas militants who crossed the border from Gaza into Israel on October 7 appeared euphoric. They managed to overrun 20 small communities – killing 1,200 Israelis and in some cases maiming and raping them – and took 240 hostages.

Israeli officials confirmed that many of the gunmen who were captured or killed were carrying tablets of the substance "Captagon", a type of narcotic that is also known as "poor people's cocaine" and "ISIS's courage chemical".

"For years, 'Captagon' was widespread among members of the Islamic State, especially in Iraq and Syria, because it gave them superhuman powers, including the ability to stay awake, calm, focused for days. To some extent, Captagon eliminates fear and hunger. The price is low; it is estimated to cost somewhere between one and five dollars, and the low cost may explain the widespread consumption of this substance among young people in the Middle East," says Ms. Carmit Valensi from the Institute for Security Studies.

Many Israeli narcotics experts say Captagon was heavily used during the Hamas attack in October. And while officials say the tablets were found on the attackers, the Israeli military spokesman has not confirmed whether the Hamas militants who were captured alive admitted to using Captagon, or whether the substance was found in blood tests of those who were killed. killed.

“We know 'Captagon' has been found. We know that it has been found in large quantities. And we can assume from this that it has been widely used by Hamas terrorists to weaken their moral judgment, to promote militant activity, to promote sexual excitement, to reduce any kind of restraint to commit crimes," says the Center's director. Medical for Addiction Treatment, Shaul Levran.

But some Israeli analysts say that the substance "Captagon" cannot be blamed for the crimes of Hamas. They say responsibility for the brutality stems from years of indoctrination and dehumanization of Jews.

"Amphetamines do not turn people into savages. "Just like young people who take amphetamines and dance the night away don't become savages - terrorists don't become savages because of amphetamines," says Hebrew University criminology professor Simon Perry.

The use of the substance "Captagon" is not only problematic in the context of the Hamas attack against Israel. It is an extremely profitable product, produced mainly in Syria and exported to Arab states in the Middle East, many of which have declared its use a national public health emergency. "Captagon" has been marketed in the past as a psycho-stimulant drug, but it has been banned in most countries of the world./VOA

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