Israel Palestine Conflict

Hamas rejects UN report on ‘sexual violence’ in October 7 attacks

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Hamas on Tuesday rejected a UN report claiming Palestinian militants committed “sexual violence” during their attack on Israel on October 7, saying the findings were simply “false claims.”

The report by the UN special representative on sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, “did not document any testimony from what she calls the victims of these cases,” Hamas said in a statement.

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“She relied on Israeli institutions, soldiers and witnesses, who were chosen by the occupation authorities to push towards an attempt to prove this false accusation, which was refuted by all investigations.”

The report, released on Monday, said it had found “reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred” on October 7.

The assaults took place in at least three separate locations, and “in most of these incidents, victims first subjected to rape were then killed, and at least two incidents relate to the rape of women’s corpses,” the report said.

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The UN has faced criticism for reacting too slowly to Israel’s accusations of rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas fighters during the October 7 attack and against the hostages it took.

The Hamas attack resulted in about 1,160 deaths in Israel, most of them civilians, according to an AFP tally based on Israeli official figures.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive in Gaza has killed at least 30,631 people, mostly women and children, according to Gaza’s health ministry.

Around 250 hostages were taken by militants, 130 of whom remain in Gaza, including 31 who are presumed dead, according to Israel.

Read more: Diplomatic push for Israel-Hamas ceasefire intensifies as Cairo talks continue

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