UN experts find ‘clear and convincing’ evidence of sexual violence during 7 October events in Israel

Эксперты ООН обнаружили «четкую и убедительную» информацию о сексуальном насилии в ходе событий 7 октября в Израиле

UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten. UN experts find ‘clear and convincing’ evidence of sexual violence during 7 October events in Israel Peace and Security

The UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict said on Monday that a team of experts she led had found “clear and convincing” information about rape and sexual torture suffered by hostages captured during the October 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

In a report released following a 17-day visit to Israel, Pramila Patten warns that hostages still held in Gaza may also be subject to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

The mission, consisting of a special representative and nine experts, held 33 meetings with Israeli citizens, studied more than 5,000 photographs and 50 hours of video recordings. The report notes that Israeli authorities encountered numerous difficulties in gathering evidence.

The true extent may never be known

After examining the facts of the October 7 attack by Hamas and other groups, the UN mission team concluded that conflict-related sexual violence had occurred in at least three settlements in southern Israel. Many women were found fully or partially naked and bound, which may indicate sexual assault.

The UN mission believes that determining the true extent of the sexual violence committed during and after the October 7 attacks “may take months or even years, and that the full truth may never be known.”

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Accusations against Israeli security forces and settlers

The team also visited Ramallah, located in the occupied Palestinian territory to hear from officials and civil society about the violence allegedly involving Israeli security forces and settlers.

Pramila Patten expressed concern about the brutal, inhumane and degrading treatment of Palestinians in custody, including sexual violence in the form of searches, threats of rape and prolonged forced nudity.

Initial recommendations

The Special Envoy called on Israeli authorities to provide full access to all available information to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the independent commission mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to conduct a full investigation into all alleged crimes. She also called on Hamas to immediately and unconditionally release all hostages, and the relevant authorities to bring to justice all those responsible for sexual violence.


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