EU sanctions Hamas wings over sexual violence on Oct. 7

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The European Union on Friday imposed sanctions on the armed wings of Hamas and Islamic Jihad for “widespread” sexual violence during the October 7 attacks on Israel.

The bloc said fighters from the two Palestinian groups - already on the EU’s terrorism blacklist - “committed widespread sexual and gender-based violence in a systematic manner, using it as a weapon of war.”

The decision to impose the sanctions was part of an agreement among EU states that will now see the bloc blacklist violent Israeli settlers in the West Bank.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

Hamas’s unprecedented attack against Israel on October 7 resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli figures, and unleashed the war in Gaza.

The EU said that the abuses by Hamas fighters included “the rape and subsequent murder of female minors, mutilation of corpses as well as genital mutilation.”

It also accused the assailants of the “targeted abduction of women and girls.”

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Israel’s retaliatory offensive has killed at least 33,634 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the territory’s health ministry. The ministry’s updated toll on Friday included at least 89 deaths over the previous day.

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