UN demands accountability for sexual violence during October 7 Hamas attack – JURIST

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United Nations experts called Monday for thorough accountability in the aftermath of the attacks that occurred in Israel on October 7. The alleged crimes against civilians during the attacks involve severe violations of international law, such as killings, hostage-taking and instances of torture, including sexual torture.

The experts emphasized that as armed Palestinian groups carried out attacks in Israeli communities bordering the Gaza Strip, the majority of victims were civilians who endured targeted and brutal assaults. The mounting evidence, especially concerning reported instances of sexual violence, has deeply troubled the experts.

According to the UN specialists, some individuals were allegedly burnt alive in their homes or bomb shelters, while others were found decapitated or mutilated. Many bodies displayed signs of trauma consistent with executions and injuries, indicating beatings at or near the time of death were also prevalent.

The experts categorize these acts as gross violations of international law, potentially amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, given the extensive premeditation and planning of the attacks. They stress that there are no justifiable circumstances for such actions and emphasize the importance of acknowledging the harm done and pursuing justice as crucial steps toward peace.

On October 7, in approximately 22 villages, around 1,200 Israeli and foreign nationals lost their lives, with thousands more sustaining injuries. An estimated 240 individuals, including adults, children and infants, were reportedly taken hostage.

To gain more notoriety for the alleged crimes, Israel has already criticized the international organization for not doing enough to confront the problem.

This case is not an isolated incident. There have been several war crimes and cases of sexual violence across Africa and the Middle East. On January 3, 2024, an advocate for LGBTQIA+ rights in Uganda was stabbed, leading to his critical condition in the hospital. Similarly, on January 6, a 16-year-old boy whom the Iranian government tortured had died from his injuries.



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