UN investigation accuses Hamas of Oct 7 abductions with ‘significant sexual violence’

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UN investigation accuses Hamas of Oct 7 abductions with ‘significant sexual violence’

But a second report by the UN commission is damning about Israel's conduct as it responded to the atrocity.

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

An Israeli soldier stands by the bodies of Israelis killed by Palestinian armed militants who entered from the Gaza Strip,
An Israeli soldier stands by the bodies of Israelis killed by Palestinian armed militants who entered from the Gaza Strip,

A UN investigation has concluded Hamas and six other Palestinian terror groups carried out abductions “with significant physical, mental and sexual violence” during the October 7 massacre in southern Israel.

But a second parallel report carried out by a commission is damning about Israel’s conduct as it responded to the atrocity.

It accused Israeli authorities of being responsible for “the war crimes of starvation as a method of warfare, murder or wilful killing, intentionally directing attacks against civilians .”

The commission, which has no power to impose any penalties, accused Hamas’s military wing and other armed groups – aided by Palestinian civilians in some instances – of killings, torture, sexual violence and systematic kidnapping.

“Many abductions were carried out with significant physical, mental and sexual violence and degrading and humiliating treatment, including in some cases parading the abductees,” the report said. “Women and women’s bodies were used as victory trophies by male perpetrators.”

The report also noted the desecration of bodies, some in a sexualised way, as well as decapitations and burning.

But in regards to Israel it said there had been a failure to provide essential supplies such as food, water, shelter and medicine to Palestinians.

Rejecting the findings, Israel’s diplomatic mission to the UN in Geneva said: “The commission of inquiry has once again proven that its actions are all in the service of a narrow-led political agenda against Israel.”

The commission was formed in 2021 by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate human rights violations in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories and is chaired by the former UN human rights chief Navi Pillay.

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