UN finds ‘convincing data’ backing reviews Hamas and different militants raped girls on Oct. 7

Warning: This text accommodates graphic content material and will have an effect on those that have skilled​ ​​​sexual violence or know somebody affected by it.

The UN envoy specializing in sexual violence in battle stated in a brand new report Monday that there are “cheap grounds” to consider Hamas dedicated rape, “sexualized torture,” and different merciless and inhumane remedy of girls throughout its shock assault in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

There are additionally “cheap grounds to consider that such violence could also be ongoing,” stated Pramila Patten, who visited Israel and the occupied West Financial institution from Jan. 29 to Feb. 14 with a nine-member technical staff.

Primarily based on first-hand accounts of launched hostages, she stated the staff “discovered clear and convincing data” that some girls and kids throughout their captivity have been subjected to the identical conflict-related sexual violence together with rape and “sexualized torture.”

The report comes practically 5 months after the Oct. 7 assaults, which left about 1,200 individuals useless and a few 250 others taken hostage. Israel’s battle towards Hamas has since laid waste to the Gaza Strip, killing greater than 30,000 individuals, in accordance with Gaza’s Well being Ministry. The UN says 1 / 4 of Gaza’s 2.3 million individuals face hunger.

Hamas has rejected earlier allegations that its fighters dedicated sexual assault.

Patten confused at a press convention launching the report that the staff’s go to was to not examine allegations of sexual violence however to collect, analyze and confirm data for Secretary-Normal Antonio Guterres’ annual report on sexual violence in battle and for the UN Safety Council.

Her key suggestion is to encourage Israel to grant entry to the UN human rights chief and the Impartial Worldwide Fee of Inquiry on the Palestinian territories and Israel “to hold out full-fledged investigations into the alleged violations” — and she or he expressed hope the Safety Council would do that.

‘A really emotional day,’ Israeli physician says

Dr. Nadav Davidovitch, a public well being doctor who labored with Physicians for Human Rights Israel by itself investigation into allegations of sexual violence, welcomed the UN’s report on Monday.

“It is actually a really emotional day to have these crimes acknowledged and considered by the UN in a severe approach,” Davidovitch stated in an interview.

WATCH | UN report says ‘cheap grounds’ to consider Hamas raped girls on Oct. 7

UN finds ‘cheap grounds’ of sexual violence throughout Oct. 7 assaults

WARNING: Video accommodates graphic photographs | A UN staff deployed to Israel says it discovered ‘cheap grounds’ to again up allegations that Hamas dedicated sexual violence through the Oct. 7 assaults, and that such violence is probably going ongoing.

Patten stated the staff was not capable of meet with any victims of sexual violence “regardless of concerted efforts to encourage them to come back ahead.” Whereas the variety of victims stays unknown, she stated, “a small variety of those that are present process remedy are reportedly experiencing extreme psychological misery and trauma.”

Nevertheless, staff members held 33 conferences with Israeli establishments and performed interviews with 34 individuals together with survivors and witnesses of the Oct. 7 assaults, launched hostages, well being suppliers and others.

Primarily based on the knowledge it gathered, Patten stated, “there are cheap grounds to consider that conflict-related sexual violence occurred through the 7 October assaults in a number of places throughout Gaza periphery, together with rape and gang rape, in no less than three places.”

Sexual violence at music competition

Throughout numerous places, she stated, the staff discovered “that a number of totally bare or partially bare our bodies from the waist down have been recovered – principally girls – with palms tied and shot a number of instances, typically within the head.”

Whereas that is circumstantial, she stated the sample of undressing and restraining victims “could also be indicative of some types of sexual violence.”

Soldiers walk around burnt cars.
Israeli troopers examine burned automobiles on Oct. 13, 2023, on the website of the Nova music competition, close to Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel. The competition was attacked by Hamas militants on Oct. 7, 2023. (Amir Cohen/Reuters)

On the Nova music competition and its environment, Patten stated, “there are cheap grounds to consider that a number of incidents of sexual violence happened with victims being subjected to rape and/or gang rape after which killed or killed whereas being raped.”

“There are additional accounts of people who witnessed no less than two incidents of rape of corpses of girls,” Patten stated. “Different credible sources on the Nova music competition website described seeing a number of murdered people, principally girls, whose our bodies have been discovered bare from the waist down, some completely bare,” some shot within the head, some tied to timber or poles with their palms sure.

On Street 232 — the street to go away the competition — “credible data based mostly on witness accounts describe an incident of the rape of two girls by armed parts,” Patten stated. Different reported rapes and gang rapes could not be verified and require investigation.

“Alongside this street, a number of our bodies have been discovered with genital accidents, together with accidents to different physique elements,” she stated. “Discernible patterns of genital mutilation couldn’t be verified presently however warrant future investigation.”

She stated “the mission staff additionally discovered a sample of sure bare or partially bare our bodies from the waist down, in some circumstances tied to buildings together with timber and poles, alongside Street 232.”

WATCH | WARNING — video accommodates graphic content material: 

Witness accounts describe sexual violence by Hamas throughout Oct. 7 assaults on Israel

WARNING: This video accommodates graphic content material. Israeli police printed video footage of eyewitness accounts, with identities blurred, describing sexual violence carried out by Hamas through the Oct. 7 assaults on Israel.

Individuals fleeing the Nova music competition additionally tried to flee south and sought shelter in and round kibbutz Reim the place Patten stated there are “cheap grounds” to consider sexual violence occurred.

The mission staff verified the rape of a lady outdoors a bomb shelter and heard of different allegations of rape that would not but be verified.

At kibbutz Be’eri, Patten stated, her staff “was capable of decide that no less than two allegations of sexual violence extensively repeated within the media, have been unfounded resulting from both new superseding data or inconsistency within the information gathered.”

These included a extremely publicized allegation {that a} pregnant girl’s womb was reportedly ripped open earlier than being killed together with her fetus stabbed inside her, Patten stated.

One other was “the interpretation initially made from the physique of a woman discovered separated from the remainder of her household, bare from the waist down,” she stated. “It was decided by the mission staff that the crime scene had been altered by a bomb squad and the our bodies moved, explaining the separation of the physique of the woman from the remainder of her household.”

Men in high-viz vests collect evidence from the floor of a damaged house.
Members of Israel’s ZAKA search and rescue staff study a home in kibbutz Holit in southern Israel on Oct. 26, 2023, weeks after the lethal Oct. 7 assault by Hamas gunmen. (Violeta Santos Moura/Reuters)

Patten stated additional investigation is required of allegations, together with of our bodies discovered bare and in a single case gagged, at kibbutz Be’eri to find out if sexual violence occurred.

At kibbutz Kfar Aza, Patten stated, verification of sexual violence was not doable. However she stated “out there circumstantial data – notably the recurring sample of feminine victims discovered undressed, sure, and shot – signifies that sexual violence, together with potential sexualized torture, or merciless, inhuman and degrading remedy, could have occurred.”

On Oct. 7, the Nahal Oz Army Base, which operated as a hub for indicators intelligence and monitoring of the Gaza perimeter fence, was additionally breached by Hamas and “a major quantity” of female and male troopers stationed there have been killed, and 7 younger feminine troopers have been kidnapped and brought to Gaza, Patten stated.

Patten confused that “the true prevalence of sexual violence through the Oct. 7 assaults and their aftermath could take months or years to emerge and will by no means be totally recognized.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *