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Israeli Rape-Crisis Group Report Finds ‘Systematic’ Sexual Violence On and After Oct. 7

An Israeli group that helps survivors of sexual abuse released a report on Wednesday that concluded that acts of sexual violence in opposition to Israelis throughout and after the Hamas-led assault on Oct. 7 had been “systematic and widespread.”

“The report finds that the Hamas attack included brutal acts of violent rape, often involving threats with weapons, specifically directed towards injured women,” stated the group, The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, an umbrella group of 9 such organizations in Israel. The report added that many incidents concerned gang rape.

“Often, the rape was perpetrated in front of an audience — partners, family or friends — in a manner intended to increase the pain and humiliation of all present,” the report stated.

The attackers “cut and mutilated sexual organs and other body parts with knives,” the report stated.

The report asserted that its data and evaluation “clearly demonstrates that sexual abuse was not an isolated incident or sporadic cases but rather a clear operational strategy.”

Based on evaluation of the knowledge collected by the group, the report concluded that intercourse crimes had been dedicated in opposition to folks at a rave website, in kibbutzim and at army bases and in opposition to hostages held in Gaza.

The report was primarily based on testimonies, interviews with first responders and articles, together with a monthslong investigation revealed by The New York Times in late December, which documented a sample of gender-based violence within the Hamas-led Oct. 7 assault.

Hamas has repeatedly denied that its fighters perpetrated sexual violence on Oct. 7. For occasion, three days after the Times investigation was revealed, Hamas stated in a press release that the group’s leaders “categorically deny such allegations” and referred to as it part of Israel’s try to justify the killing of Palestinian civilians.

Hamas has maintained that its fighters’ “religion, values and culture” forbid such acts, and that, as Muslims, they’re “honor-bound to respect and protect all women.” The group has stated it welcomes any worldwide inquiries into allegations of sexual violence.

Israeli activists and their allies have expressed frustration at worldwide organizations just like the United Nations for sluggish responses to experiences of sexual violence as a part of the Oct. 7 assault. In late January, a U.N. workforce visited Israel to look at these experiences, led by Pramila Patten, the U.N. secretary-general’s particular consultant on sexual violence in battle.

Orit Sulitzeanu, the chief director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, stated in a information launch that the report was submitted to determination makers on the U.N. “Silence is no longer an option,” she stated. “We expect international organizations to take a clear stance; we cannot stand on the sidelines.”

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