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UN finds “convincing” information that hostages in Gaza were raped

A United Nations team has found “clear and convincing” information that hostages in the Gaza Strip were sexually abused, Pramila Patten, the UN special envoy on sexual violence in conflict, told reporters on Monday (4 ).

There are “reasonable reasons” to believe that sexual violence continues, according to the expert.

According to Patten, the team also found “reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence, including rape and gang rape, occurred” during the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack in Israel.

This is the UN's most definitive conclusion on sexual assault allegations following the attack.

The UN team, led by Patten, visited Israel between January 29 and February 14 for a mission “with the aim of collecting, analyzing and verifying information on conflict-related sexual violence” during October 7 and its aftermath. , according to a 24-page report.

The special envoy emphasized on Monday that the mission was “not intended to be investigative in nature,” adding that the team had 33 meetings with Israeli institutions while in Israel, interviewed 34 people, including survivors and witnesses of the October 7 attack, and freed hostages.

They also reviewed 50 hours of videos of the attacks.

However, the mission was unable to meet with any victims of sexual violence on October 7 “despite our best efforts,” Patten said.

“On the first day, I appealed to survivors to come forward. But we received information that some of them were receiving very specialized trauma treatment and were not prepared to come forward,” she explained.

Hamas has previously denied that its members committed rape during the October 7 attack.

“We strongly reject and denounce the coordination of some Western media outlets with deceptive Zionist campaigns that promote baseless lies and allegations designed to demonize the Palestinian resistance, the latest of which is the allegation that members of the resistance committed 'sexual violence' during the Flood Battle in Al-Aqsa on October 7,” Hamas’ political office said in a statement on Telegram in December.

Source: CNN Brasil

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