United Nations envoy Pramila Patten concluded her eight-day visit to Israel on Monday after receiving a first-hand account of the sexual violence committed by Hamas during the terrorist group’s bloody cross-border attack on Oct. 7.
The special representative of the U.N. secretary-general on sexual violence in conflict said that she hasn’t been able to sleep for a week after watching the IDF’s 47-minute video of the Hamas atrocities at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, titled “Bearing Witness to the October 7th Massacre.”
“Only after I saw the video did I understand things that I didn’t understand before in terms of the magnitude of the disaster that happened,” the Mauritian barrister was quoted by Ynet as saying.
Gilad Erdan, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, accompanied Patten on parts of the trip. Ten experts in the fields of law and medicine also accompanied her. Most of them will stay in Israel for another week to continue to collect evidence.
“Patten’s visit was especially important to us so that there would be international recognition of the suffering and the horrible sexual crimes committed against Israeli women and girls on Oct. 7 by the monsters of Hamas, and also so that the world will understand who we are fighting against. The disgrace of the disregard and indifference of the U.N. and its women’s organization cannot continue,” said Erdan.
Patten also met with doctors and psychiatrists from the Health Ministry, professionals from the Social Affairs Ministry in the field of sexual victims, Israeli President Isaac Herzog and his wife, First Lady Michal Herzog, and representatives of civil society organizations.
She also toured Be’eri, a kibbutz near the Gaza border where at least 130 people were murdered during the Hamas attack and others kidnapped. During the tour, she was accompanied by Or Yelin, a survivor of the massacre, and Yossi Landau, the head of Zaka in the Southern Region.
During the visit, Patten viewed images of and heard testimonies regarding the sexual abuse and mutilation that occurred there.
Hamas terrorists committed acts of rape, including gang rape, and other acts of sexual violence against both men and women during the Oct. 7 attacks. According to freed hostages’ testimonies, rapes and other sexual abuse are ongoing against hostages held by the terror group in Gaza.
“I saw things here that I have not seen anywhere in the world. The world outside cannot understand the magnitude of the event. I myself also internalized the magnitude of the event just by being here myself,” said Patten.
“Only when I am here do I understand the magnitude of the pain, the insult and the anger of Israel regarding how the world did not sufficiently understand and treat the atrocities that happened to you,” she added.
Following the visit, the official will present her findings to the U.N. secretary-general for inclusion in the United Nations’ annual report on sexual violence.