UN Reports Convincing Information of Sexual Violence Against Hostages in Gaza

A United Nations team has uncovered convincing evidence of sexual violence against hostages in Gaza, with reasonable grounds to suspect ongoing abuse. The team reported sexual violence, including gang rape, during a recent Hamas attack on Israel on October 7.

In response to these disturbing findings, Israel’s foreign ministry has welcomed the recognition of Hamas’ sexual crimes and is now calling for the UN Security Council to designate Hamas as a terrorist organization and impose sanctions. However, Hamas denies the allegations of sexual assault.

The report contains graphic descriptions of rape and sexual violence, which were found in multiple locations during the October 7 attacks. While the UN team is not investigative, its purpose is to gather and verify allegations. Despite holding 33 meetings with Israeli representatives, they were unable to interview victims.

Some of the allegations of rape and sexual violence were found to be unfounded or unverifiable, including allegations of sexual violence against Palestinians in Israeli custody. Israel has rejected the report findings and allegations, and has even recalled its ambassador to the UN for consultations, accusing the UN of silencing the report on mass rapes.

Criticism has been directed at UN Secretary General António Guterres for not convening the Security Council to discuss the report’s findings and declare Hamas a terrorist organization. The international community is now calling for action to be taken against those responsible for these abhorrent acts of sexual violence.

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