UN sexual violence envoy: Israelis were raped, sexually tortured on October 7

UN sexual violence envoy: Israelis were raped, sexually tortured on October 7

UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict finds damning evidence of rape, sexual violence, necrophilia during visit to Israel

By TAMAR URIEL-BEERIMARCH 4, 2024 21:00 Updated: MARCH 4, 2024 22:13

Demonstrators gather during a protest the crimes and sexual violence against women in October 7 massacre, outside of United Nations headquarters in New York City, on December 4, 2023.(photo credit: YAKOV BINYAMIN/FLASH 90)

A mission team led on a trip through Israel by the United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, found that there was substantial evidence to conclude that victims, as well as hostages and survivors of October 7, were sexually abused and raped by Hamas terrorists. This is the first instance where an international organization has confirmed what Israel has alleged since October 7.

Patten, therefore, called on Hamas to “immediately and unconditionally release all individuals held in captivity and to ensure their protection, including from sexual violence.”

The team, traveling and researching with Israel’s full cooperation, found “clear and convincing information that sexual violence, including rape, sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment has been committed against hostages.”

They have “reasonable grounds to believe that such violence may be ongoing against those still held in captivity.”Patten’s team, which visited throughout the first two weeks of February, was comprised of “nine experts drawn from the United Nations, including… specialists trained in safe and ethical interviewing of survivors/victims and witnesses of sexual violence crimes; a forensic pathologist; and a digital and open-source information analyst.”

ACTIVISTS PROTEST against recent cases of violence against women at Habima Square in Tel Aviv last week. (credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

The team also found “that there are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred in multiple locations during the 7 October attacks, including rape and gang-rape in at least three locations, namely: the Nova music festival site and its surroundings, Road 232, and Kibbutz Re’im.”

This region was the same area specified in the report released two weeks prior by the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI), which summed up the evidence available so far regarding sexual violence on October 7.“In most of these incidents, victims first subjected to rape were then killed, and at least two incidents relate to the rape of women’s corpses,” the report stated, once again confirming what the ARCCI had reported.

Patterns of sexual violence uncovered during the investigation

They found a “pattern” that “may be indicative of some forms of… sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment” in which “victims, mostly women, [were] found fully or partially naked, bound, and shot across multiple locations.”


These findings are based on a myriad of evidence, including 50 hours of footage, 5,000 photographs, and 34 independent interviews. The report did, however, claim that two reports of sexual assault in Kibbutz Be’eri, including that which revealed that a pregnant woman’s womb was torn open before she was killed, were “unfounded.”

“Regarding genital mutilation overall, the mission team was not able to establish a discernible pattern.

“Overall, the mission team is of the view that the true prevalence of sexual violence during the 7 October attacks and their aftermath, may take months or years to emerge and may never be fully known,” the report concluded.

They recommended that Israel permit the office of the UN’s OHCHR and the International Commission of Inquiry on “occupied Palestinian territory” to conduct investigations. Patten also recommended that the Israeli government “consider signing a framework of cooperation with my office to strengthen capacity on justice and accountability for conflict-related sexual violence, but also security sector engagement, training, and oversight to prevent and address sexual violence” during a press conference upon the release of the report.

Despite the authority granted to him, the UN secretary-general did not order the convening of the security council in light of the findings, in order to declare Hamas a terrorist organization and impose sanctions on its supporters.

Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz

During that same press conference, Patten faced multiple questions of doubt from the media. One Arabic Daily reporter asked if Patten had seen “how well the hostages were treated,” reminding her that some “held water bottles in their hands” upon their release to demonstrate how well they were treated.

“This report is only a validation of the Israeli narrative,” the same reporter later said. “Can you address that a woman is being raped and bit the finger of her rapist? How can you stand with the rapist?” he asked, comparing Hamas rapists to victims of rape themselves.

A correspondent for PassBlue also asked to what extent one might believe the information gathered for the report “if you’re just collecting evidence.”

Related Tags violencesexual assaultsexual abuseviolence against womenThe October 7 MassacreIsrael-Hamas War 2024

 

Source: https://www.jpost.com/israel-hamas-war/article-790204?utm_source=jpost.app.android&utm_medium=share

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