United Nations group finds Hamas committed sexual violence on Oct. 7

Source: The Hill | March 4, 2024 | Brad Dress

A United Nations special group focused on sexual violence in conflict found “clear and convincing information” that Hamas, recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S. government, committed rape and sexualized torture during an Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel.

UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, led a team to Israel and the West Bank from late January to Feb. 14 to investigate claims that Hamas committed sexual violence on Oct. 7.

Patten said in a press conference that the findings underscored a need to reach a ceasefire in Israel’s war against Hamas that was launched in retaliation for Oct. 7.

“In the context of the findings, regarding the hostages, I think more than ever a ceasefire should be a priority,” she said. “That’s what can protect the hostages still in captivity, a ceasefire.”

Hamas killed 1,200 people in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel and kidnapped another 240 people, around 100 of whom are believed to still be alive in Gaza.


“Based on the information it gathered, the mission team found clear and convincing information that sexual violence, including rape, sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment has been committed against hostages and has reasonable grounds to believe that such violence may be ongoing against those still held in captivity,” the UN special group said in a press release.

UN officials did not specify what sexual violence occurred, saying they were providing the findings in generic terms to protect victims and survivors.

The report said that rape and gang rape occurred at the Nova music festival site, where Hamas killed 364 people, and Kibbutz Re’im. UN officials also found two instances in which victims were raped after they were killed and said they found a pattern of women bound and shot, sometimes naked.

Under international law, rape and other forms of sexual violence are a war crime.


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