Hamas planned sexual violence as weapon of war – Israeli campaigner
Hamas planned sexual violence as weapon of war - Israeli campaigner BBC.com
By Marita Moloney, BBC News
Hamas had a premeditated plan to use sexual violence as a weapon of war, an Israeli women’s rights campaigner and lawyer has said.
Prof Ruth Halperin-Kaddari said she saw footage of women in several locations whose condition left her in “no doubt” that they had been raped.
There has been anger over the delay of some UN bodies to acknowledge claims of Hamas’s sexual atrocities on 7 October.
Israel has been exploring evidence of sexual crimes during the attacks.
Warning: This article contains graphic details which some readers may find upsetting
Israeli police say they have so far gathered more than 1,500 testimonies from witnesses and medics. Hamas has denied the group carried out sexual violence during the 7 October attacks.
Pictures and live footage streamed by the militants pointed to the gruesome nature of the attacks at the Supernova festival.
A range of violence from gang rape to the sexual mutilation of murdered victims are being investigated by police.
“I saw a number of first-hand, eyewitness accounts, for example of one survivor who hid in the bushes and saw a woman next to her being raped by several men,” Prof Halperin-Kaddari told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.
She said she also spoke to a paramedic who treated a woman who lost a life-threatening amount of blood after reporting being raped by four men.
“I saw footage and pictures from numerous locations of bodies whose condition were all exhibiting the same pattern of mutilation and leaving no doubt that rape was performed on these women before they were executed,” she said.
Prof Halperin-Kaddari added that the concentration of cases, all in one day but in several locations left her in “no doubt” that there was a “premeditation to use sexual violence as a weapon of war.”
Hamas said it “rejected and strongly denounced” the reports of abuses. In a post on the messaging app Telegram, it said that such claims were “lies” by Israel that sought to distort the “humane” way Hamas has treated Israeli hostages. Hamas took some 240 people hostage on 7 October – 110 were released last week as part of a truce with Israel.
Israeli women’s rights and legal activists had been calling on key international organisations to publicly acknowledge reports of gender-based violence, including sexual violence, in the wake of Hamas’s attacks.
On Monday, dozens of demonstrators gathered outside the UN headquarters in New York, protesting over what they said was its inaction over the rape, abduction and mistreatment of Israeli women.
Prof Halperin-Kaddari, who spent 12 years as a member of a UN convention on discrimination against women, said she and others have been calling on UN bodies to acknowledge these “crimes against humanity”.
SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?
- SDG 5: Gender Equality
- SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?
- SDG 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres
- SDG 16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?
No specific indicators are mentioned in the article. However, potential indicators to measure progress towards the identified targets could include:
- Number of reported cases of sexual violence against women and girls
- Number of investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators of sexual violence
- Number of survivors receiving support services and access to justice
Table: SDGs, Targets, and Indicators
|SDG 5: Gender Equality
|Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres
|– Number of reported cases of sexual violence against women and girls
– Number of investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators of sexual violence
– Number of survivors receiving support services and access to justice
|SDG 16: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
|Target 16.1: Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
|– Number of reported cases of violence
– Number of investigations and prosecutions of perpetrators of violence
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