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Hamas rejects UN accusations of sexual violence in 7 October attack on Israel

March 5, 2024 at 4:05 pm

A screen grab captured from a video shows Hamas’ Al-Qassam Brigades “unilaterally” released 2 civilian prisoners in Gaza on October 24, 2023. [Al-Qassam Brigades – Anadolu Agency]

Palestinian group, Hamas, on Tuesday rejected accusations by a UN Special envoy for its fighters of sexually assaulting Israeli women during its 7 October cross-border attack into Israel, Anadolu Agency reports.

Pramila Patten, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, said in a report on Monday that there are “reasonable grounds to believe” sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, occurred during the Hamas attack.

Hamas dismissed the accusations by the UN envoy as “false” and “baseless”.

The report “came out after failed Israeli attempts to prove this false accusation to demonise the Palestinian Resistance and cover up … horrific human rights violations committed by Israeli Occupation forces against Palestinian women and girls,” it said in a statement.

Last month, UN experts expressed alarm over “credible allegations” of egregious human rights violations that Palestinian women and girls continue to face in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Hamas said the allegations “clearly contradict with testimonies of freed Israeli hostages of good treatment by Hamas fighters while in captivity.”

“This false accusation will not succeed in erasing the ugliness and horror of the Israeli crimes in the Gaza Strip,” the Palestinian group said.

BLOG: The inhumanity of humanitarian aid

Israel has launched a deadly military offensive on the Gaza Strip since a 7 October,  2023 Hamas attack, which Tel Aviv said killed less than 1,200 people.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

More than 30,600 Palestinians have since been killed and over 72,000 others injured amid mass destruction and shortages of necessities.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the Gaza Strip, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The Israeli war has pushed 85 per cent of Gaza’s population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while 60 per cent of the enclave’s infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed, according to the UN.

Israel is accused of genocide by the International Court of Justice. An interim ruling in January ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

READ: Israel says UN trying to keep quiet on report about Hamas sexual attacks