Home Blog UN Special Session Convenes to Address Alleged Hamas Sexual Crimes During Israel Attacks

UN Special Session Convenes to Address Alleged Hamas Sexual Crimes During Israel Attacks


In a specially convened session at the United Nations on Monday, initiated by Israel’s Permanent Mission to the UN, attention was drawn to the reported sexual crimes committed against women during Hamas’s attacks on southern communities on October 7. The event aimed to highlight concerns about the perceived silence of the international community on this issue.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, asserted that the October 7 attacks were the most brutal Israel has faced since the Holocaust, with atrocities described as more barbaric than ISIS and even the Nazis. Erdan claimed that Hamas deliberately used rape and sexual violence as weapons of war, characterizing these actions as premeditated.

Hamas, in response to mounting evidence, dismissed the accusations on Monday, labeling them as part of “Zionist campaigns” spreading unfounded lies to demonize the Palestinian resistance.

Erdan, who organized the special session, criticized UN Women and other UN agencies, accusing them of abandoning Israeli women assaulted by Hamas and highlighting what he perceived as their hypocrisy and double standards. He emphasized the discriminatory treatment faced by Israeli women by these organizations.

UN Women faced criticism for an October 13 statement that equated Hamas’s actions with Israel’s military response, failing to mention the terror group by name or address its reported sexual assaults. A subsequent Instagram post condemning Hamas’s attacks was deleted, further fueling controversy.

Despite a December 1 statement from UN Women condemning Hamas’s “brutal attacks” and expressing alarm at reports of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence, Erdan remained critical, describing it as mere “lip service.”

The special session, attended by hundreds, featured Democratic US Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg as keynote speakers. Gillibrand expressed shock at the lack of solidarity for women in the world, condemning the “heinous, barbaric nature of Hamas.” Sandberg emphasized the importance of not remaining silent in the face of terror and highlighted the danger of undoing progress in recognizing rape as a crime against humanity.

Physicians for Human Rights–Israel published a report last month, including testimonies detailing Hamas’s widespread sexual abuse on October 7. The Israel Police unit investigating sexual violence collected evidence, including statements, photographs, and video clips documenting the alleged crimes.

While Hamas denies the accusations, Israel’s initiative at the UN seeks to bring attention to these reported sexual crimes, emphasizing the need for a collective response and condemnation from the international community.

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