Israel at UN meeting: Sexual violence by Hamas ‘widespread weapon of war’

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Israel held a meeting at the United Nations in Geneva on Monday evening to raise awareness of the sexual violence against women stemming from the October 7 attacks by Hamas.

United Nations (file photo)

Israeli authorities have opened an investigation into sexual assault in the worst attack in Israel’s history, including rape, after evidence was found of victims found mutilated and mutilated.

Hamas denies wrongdoing.

The UN human rights office condemned the Oct. 7 attack as “horrific, barbaric and shocking” and said Israel had yet to allow its inspectors into the country.

Read more Thinking of her mother, she kept 2 Israeli hostages, unaware that she had been killed by Hamas.

The private event, which was attended by diplomats, rights groups and UN agencies, was Israel’s first held abroad to address sexual violence by Hamas, and described Israel’s diplomatic mission as “expanded”.

The UN rights bodies that spoke at the event have “downplayed” and “de-emphasized” sexual violence, said Ruth Halperin-Kadri, associate professor at Bar-Ilan University.

“We have been waiting for a clear and loud statement that it is not fair to use women’s bodies as weapons of war. None of that has come so far,” she told Reuters on the issue. When asked to explain, he said, “It changes the conventional view of Israel as the aggressor and the Palestinians as the ultimate victims.”

Halperin-Kadri, a former vice-president of the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), on Tuesday asked UN Human Rights Chief Volker Türk to convey this message, present new evidence and issue strong condemnations. She said attacks.

A spokesperson for the United Nations Human Rights Office said the Turkish office had requested a visit to Israel to monitor and gather information on the October 7 attack, but had not received a response from Israel.

“The office is trying to remotely monitor these and other human rights violations in Israel and the OPT[Occupied Palestinian Territories]. Lack of direct access to Israel and the OPT has hampered its work,” Ravina Shamdasani said in response. Questions sent by email.

“We have repeatedly stressed the need for rigorous investigation and accountability for all serious violations of international human rights and humanitarian law,” she added.

Evidence of sexual assault includes testimony from first responders at the scene of the attack, as well as military reservists who cared for victims during the detection process. Reuters has seen photos that corroborate some of these accounts.

Halperin-Kadri said she obtained some evidence and testimony from Israeli authorities to “create awareness and demand condemnation and accountability.”

A woman who was bleeding profusely after being raped by four assailants after an October 7 music festival has described being attended to by paramedics.

Halperin-Kadri said she would like to see an independent body investigate the crime.

One body that rights experts say could investigate is an independent commission of inquiry set up by the United Nations Human Rights Council, but Israel is not cooperating with the case, saying it is biased. The Turkish office has also asked the Israeli authorities to cooperate with this request.

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