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UN calls for investigation into reports that Israeli women were raped by Hamas fighters on October 7

A photograph taken by Ido Derby shows festival-goers at the Tribe of Nova festival taking cover.
A photograph taken by Ido Derby shows festival-goers at the Tribe of Nova festival taking cover.Ido Derby and Liav Franko/ @block_oclock via Instagram
  • UN Women has called for an investigation into reports of violence against Israeli women on October 7.

  • Allegations of rape and gender-based violence have emerged in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

  • The head of UN Women called for peace and a commitment to both Israeli and Palestinian women.

UN Women has called for a "rigorous investigation" into reports of gender-based violence by Hamas against Israeli women on October 7.

Reports of rape and sexual assault surfaced quickly in the immediate aftermath of the Hamas massacre. In the weeks since, many more horrific incidents have surfaced through the testimony of survivors and witnesses and from the footage of body cameras worn by Hamas.

Israeli civilians were tortured, raped, and abused by Hamas fighters, according to evidence gathered by forensic teams. Rabbi Israel Weiss, a former army chief rabbi, echoed testimonies of the bodies showing signs of sexual abuse.

An investigation by The Washington Post into the use of rape as a weapon of war on October 7 said one woman, her identity concealed in a video statement to Israeli police, said she witnessed a gang rape at the Nova rave near Re'im, as she pretended to be dead.

Her account describes an Hamas militant violently raping a woman and then passing her to a comrade who executed her with a shot to the head.

"He didn't pick up his pants. He shot her while inside her," the witness said, per The Washington Post.

The head of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women also spoke on the conflict at UN headquarters this week.

UN Under-Secretary-General and UN Women Executive Director Sima Bahous told delegates that "women and girls are paying the highest price of conflicts," in a Security Council meeting on "The situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question."

She said that an estimated 67% of the people killed in Gaza since October 7 are women and children. 67% of the more than 14,000 killed would equal more than 9000 slain women and children.

"That is two mothers killed every hour and seven women every two hours. We mourn them all," she said.

Bahous said she was alarmed by reports of gender-based violence, saying: "Every act of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence, is unequivocally condemned, and must be fully investigated with the utmost priority."

She told the Council that UN Women had met with and heard from Israeli women about their work to document gender-based atrocities and called for peace and a commitment to both Israeli and Palestinian women.

Read the original article on Business Insider