update deskOctober 7

Hamas rejects UN report on Oct. 7 sexual violence

The terror group accused the U.N. of "demonization" • Hamas rejected the latest Israeli offer for temporary pause in the fighting, standing firm on its demand for a full IDF withdrawal.

Israelis protest calling for the release of Israelis held kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in Gaza outside the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv, March 5, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.
Israelis protest calling for the release of Israelis held kidnapped by Hamas terrorists in Gaza outside the U.S. Embassy Branch Office in Tel Aviv, March 5, 2024. Photo by Tomer Neuberg/Flash90.

Hamas issued a statement on Tuesday rejecting a United Nations report released the previous day on the Gaza-based terrorist group’s sexual violence during the Oct. 7 massacre and the sexual abuse of hostages.

“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 terrorist organization wrote.

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

“Patten’s claims clearly contradict what emerged from the testimonies of Israeli women about the good treatment they received from the resistance fighters, as well as the testimonies of Israeli hostages who were released—about the good treatment they received during their captivity in Gaza,” the statement reads.

According to the 24-page U.N. report, there is “clear and convincing” evidence that terrorists committed sexual violence, including rape, against hostages in Gaza, and “reasonable grounds” to conclude that terrorists raped and gang-raped Israeli women in multiple locations on Oct. 7.

“With respect to hostages, the mission team found clear and convincing information that some have been subjected to various forms of conflict-related sexual violence including rape and sexualized torture and sexualized cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” the report states, adding, “and it also has reasonable grounds to believe that such violence may be ongoing.”

At the Supernova music festival at Kibbutz Re’im and its environs, “there are reasonable grounds to believe that multiple incidents of sexual violence took place with victims being subjected to rape and/or gang rape, and then killed or killed while being raped,” the report stated. It added that there are also “reasonable grounds” to think that sexual violence, including rape, occurred on Road 232, on which people fled from the festival, and at Kibbutz Re’im, where they sought shelter.

“Reasonable grounds” was the “primary standard of proof” used in the report, it stated. It added that “clear and convincing” refers to “evidence rises above “reasonable grounds” yet falls below “beyond a reasonable doubt.” Nowhere in the report does it state that any of the detailed violence is true “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

“Our conclusions are based on our own assessments of the credibility of witnesses, verification of sources and cross-referencing material,” said Pramila Patten, the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative on sexual violence and conflict.

Patten’s team also found a pattern of victims, mostly women, found fully or partially naked, bound and shot across multiple locations that “may be indicative of some forms of sexual violence.”

The Mauritian barrister delivered her findings following a fact-finding mission to Israel last month.

After her visit, she acknowledged that she wasn’t able to sleep for a week after watching a video compilation of Hamas atrocities at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

Patten’s team, which included experts in the fields of law and medicine, conducted dozens of in-depth interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Oct. 7 attacks, freed hostages and first responders, in addition to reviewing some 5,000 photos and 50 hours of video footage.

The report mentions Hamas 10 times, while not directly implicating the terrorist group in the sexual violence, which it said would require a full investigation.

Hamas appears to reject latest Israeli ceasefire offer

Hamas on Wednesday appeared to reject the latest Israeli offer for a temporary pause in fighting in Gaza that would include the release of Israeli captives in exchange for the freeing of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons.

The terrorist group stood firm on its demands for an end to the war and the withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, two conditions which Jerusalem rejects as they directly conflict with its stated war goals of defeating Hamas and ensuring that Gaza can never again threaten Israel.

In a press statement, Hamas also called for displaced Gazans to be able to return to the north and for “provisions for the needs of our people.”

“The Hamas movement has shown the required flexibility with the aim of reaching an agreement requiring a comprehensive cessation of aggression against our people,” the terror group said.

“The movement will continue to negotiate through mediator brothers to reach an agreement that fulfills the demands and interests of our people,” Hamas continued.

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