1709587835 The UN says it has clear and convincing information about

The UN says it has “clear and convincing information” about the rapes committed by Hamas

According to the UN report, gang rapes occurred “in at least three locations,” including at the Nova festival site. According to the UN report, gang rapes occurred “in at least three locations,” including at the Nova festival site. OHAD ZWIGENBERG / AP

There are “reasonable grounds to believe” that victims of the October 7 Hamas attack were raped, as were certain hostages held in Gaza, according to a UN report released on Monday, March 4 the number of these sexual acts of violence cannot be stated.

While the United Nations was criticized for being slow to respond to the rape and sexual violence that Israel accused Hamas of on October 7, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, visited Israel accompanied by experts West Bank for two and a half weeks in early February.

Based on information “collected from multiple and independent sources, there are good reasons to believe that conflict-related sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, occurred in several locations on the outskirts of Gaza during the October 7 attack, in at least three locations,” including the Nova festival site, the report said.

Despite calls for victims of sexual violence to come forward and testify, none of them came forward. Mission members were able to speak with survivors and witnesses of the October 7 attacks, as well as health care workers, and view 5,000 photos and fifty hours of footage from the attacks.

However, they were able to speak to some of the released hostages and “gather clear and convincing information that some had suffered various forms of sexual violence related to the conflict, including rape and sexual torture, as well as cruel, inhuman and degrading sexual treatment.” said Pramila Patten at a press conference. “We have good reason to believe that such violence is still ongoing,” she added. Due to the short duration of the mission, it was not possible to determine the “prevalence” of sexual violence during the October 7 attacks.

Read also: Article reserved for our subscribers Israel is organizing an organization to document the sexual violence committed during the Hamas attack

Complete your selection

Israel recalls its UN ambassador

During the unprecedented Hamas attack in Israel on October 7, around 250 people were kidnapped and taken to Gaza, leaving 1,160 people dead, mostly civilians, according to a tally by Agence France-Presse. Based on official Israeli data. Israeli authorities say there are 130 hostages still in Gaza, 31 of whom are dead. Around 100 others have been released along with 240 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel during a ceasefire in November.

Shortly before the publication of the report, which was announced for this Monday, the Israeli foreign minister announced the recall of his UN ambassador for consultations and accused the UN of wanting to “silently ignore the serious report”.

In this context, the report calls on the Israeli authorities to “grant access” to a mission from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Independent Commission of Inquiry for the Palestinian Territories to conduct “comprehensive investigations in all areas” into allegations of violations and supplement and “deepen” the results of this mission by Pramila Patten.

Among the difficulties encountered, the report highlights in particular the “lack of trust of the survivors of the October 7 attacks and the families of the hostages in national and international institutions, including the United Nations” and “the lack of comprehensive forensic evidence”. “.

The world application

The morning of the world

Every morning, discover our selection of 20 items not to be missed

Download the app

“The true prevalence of sexual violence during the October 7 attacks may take months or even years to become known, and it may never truly be known,” the report concludes.

Read also the story: Article reserved for our subscribers Hamas attack: Looking back on October 7, a day in hell in Israel

Complete your selection

The world with AFP

Reuse this content