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Hamas likely carried out sexual violence in Israel during attack -UN



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A UN team discovered that there are “reasonable grounds to believe” sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, occurred during the Hamas strikes in Israel on October 7.

They also stated that there was “convincing information” that hostages had been sexually abused.

Pramila Patten, the United Nations Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, oversaw the trip.

Hamas has denied that its fighters sexually abused women during the attacks.

“The mission team found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred in multiple locations during the 7 October attacks,” the UN report said.

These occurred in at least three locations: the Nova music festival and its surrounds, Road 232, and Kibbutz Re’im, according to the statement.

On October 7, Hamas terrorists stormed southern Israel, killing around 1,200 people and taking 253 others captive.

Israel replied by beginning a military campaign in Gaza, which has killed 30,500 people, according to Hamas’ health ministry.

Reports of sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas, which is designated as a terrorist organization by Israel, the United Kingdom, and others, began to emerge shortly after October 7 and have progressively increased since.

According to the report, the UN said it had “found clear and convincing information that sexual violence, including rape, sexualized torture, and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, has been committed against hostages.”.

It also stated that it “has reasonable grounds to believe that such violence may be ongoing against those still held in captivity.”.
The UN team was in Israel from January 29 to February 14.

According to the UN, the mission, which included Ms. Patten and nine specialists, was supposed to gather and verify complaints rather than conduct an investigation.

It went on to say that 33 meetings were held with Israeli personnel and that over 5,000 photographic images and 50 hours of video footage were studied.
The report stated that “despite concerted efforts to encourage” victims to come forward, the team was unable to interview any of them.

Some charges of rape and sexual violence could not be substantiated or were “unfounded,” according to the study, including the widely publicized example of a pregnant lady whose womb was allegedly torn apart and her fetus stabbed.

It also stated that it had been unable to identify a clear pattern of genital mutilation.

After October 7, the UN team claimed it received reports of sexual abuse against Palestinian men and women in detention facilities, house raids, and at checkpoints.

Israel has dismissed similar charges made earlier by an independent UN commission as “despicable and unfounded.”.

Meanwhile, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz has accused the UN of attempting to “keep quiet the serious UN report.”.

He chastised UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for failing to convene the Security Council to consider the findings and label Hamas a terrorist group.

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric stated that Mr. Guterres “has fully supported” Ms. Patten’s efforts during her visit to Israel.

“In no way, shape, or form did the secretary-general do anything to keep the report ‘quiet.’ The report is being presented publicly today,” Mr. Dujarric said.