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Hamas sexual violence 'Systematic and Deliberate' during and after October 7 - Official report says

Israel's Association of Rape Crisis Centers released a report based on testimonies, interviews and other sources, demonstrating Hamas' sexual violence was a 'clear operational strategy involving systematic, targeted sexual abuse'

Warning: This article contains descriptions of sexual violence.

 

The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel released a comprehensive report on Wednesday stating that sexual assaults that took place both during and after the October 7 attacks were carried out systematically and deliberately, at the scene of the October 7 attacks, and later against hostages.

 

 

 

 

The report also states that the accounts of the atrocities indicate that the perpetrators' behavior correspond to patterns of wartime sexual abuse as documented in the literature.

 

"Several testimonies, interviews and additional sources indicate the use of sadistic practices by Hamas terrorists, aimed at intensifying the humiliation and fear of sexual abuse," the report said.

 

"Many victim's bodies were found mutilated and bound, with sexual organs brutally attacked, and in some cases, weapons were inserted into them," it said.

 

The association stated: "The report is the first official research since October 7, consolidating evidence and providing conclusions. The report clearly demonstrates that this is not a 'malfunction' or isolated incident, but a clear operational strategy involving systematic, targeted sexual abuse."

 

It noted that the report analyzed "numerous confidential and public pieces of information, including testimonies, interviews with official and non-official first responders, information permitted for publication in various media outlets, and direct information received by the ARCCI."

 

The association submitted the report to Pramila Patten, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, who visited Israel last month. The report also briefly addresses testimonies of sexual abuse suffered by hostages.

 

Some of the information in the report is based on interviews conducted for the Union of Journalists in Israel by Hila Tov. The report also includes details based on confidential information obtained by the Rape Crisis Centers. For example, the report notes that the union received confidential information indicating sexual assault against female soldiers on October 7.

 

Rami Davidian, a resident of the community of Patish, who rescued several people from the Nova music festival, testified that he saw women tied to trees. "They were tied three to five meters apart. They were naked," Davidian recalled. "They were tied using clothes or blankets with their hands wrapped around the tree, or standing, tied up, leaning against the tree."

 

He also testified that he found the bodies of "a boyfriend and girlfriend" in the dance floor area. "They were stripped, told to hug, and they fell hugging," he said. "There were blows on their bodies. They were abused." Davidian also described how the bodies of these women were "mutilated in intimate places – something that was very difficult to observe."

 

Haim Otmazgin, a ZAKA search and rescue worker, told the journalists' union that he found in a house in one of the kibbutzim the body of a mother bound with zip ties in the safe room, showing signs of a struggle. He also reported seeing the body of her daughter, a teenager or young woman, who was in the next room with her trousers and underwear pulled down.

 

Otmazgin gave a similar account to Haaretz. The report further states that a military source reported that soldiers had found the bodies of family members tied up, and that the mother's body was found naked and showed signs of sexual abuse. The way the bodies were positioned suggested that the husband was forced to watch his wife raped before they were murdered.

 

Noam Mark, a member of an emergency response team at one of the kibbutzim, told the journalists' union that he found three bodies of young women from the music festival in one of the homes.

 

The report notes that it is unclear how the young women got to the kibbutz from the festival. He said the bodies were found naked, with clear signs of serious acts of sexual violence. The report further notes that Mark testified to police and provided a video to back up his account.

 

The report details several patterns of sexual attacks committed by terrorists, including gang rape, rape under the threat of arms and harm inflicted with weapons, sexual assault in front of family members, dragging women by the hair, tying up bodies, amputating organs, and more.

 

The report, authored by Dr. Carmit Klar-Chalamish, head of the research department at the Rape Crisis Centers, and Noga Berger, director of content at the organization, concludes that these practices are well documented in the literature on sexual violence in conflict. It explains that such violent acts are intended, among other things, to humiliate, sow fear and heighten the suffering of the victims.


Meanwhile the terror group wrote: "We in Hamas strongly reject and condemn the report published by U.N. representative Premila Patten, which accuses the Palestinian resistance fighters of committing acts of rape and sexual violence on October 7".


The terror group called the report’s claims “baseless false accusations” which amounts to the “demonisation of Hamas.”

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