UN report finds credible evidence of sexual violence during October 7 Hamas attack

A team led by the UN special envoy for sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, found “reasonable grounds” to believe Hamas committed rape and “sexualised torture”. Patten presented the report Monday at the United Nations.
Israel war against Hamas
Israel war against Hamas

Jerusalem | A United Nations report has found credible allegations that sexual assaults took place during the October 7 Hamas attack on southern Israel.

A team led by the UN special envoy for sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, found “reasonable grounds” to believe Hamas committed rape and “sexualised torture”. Patten presented the report Monday at the United Nations.

The UN team did not meet with any victims of sexual violence “despite concerted efforts to encourage them to come forward”, and Patten said much of the evidence was circumstantial. The team conducted interviews with survivors and witnesses of the October 7 attacks, released hostages, health providers and others, Patten said.

The report comes nearly five months after the October 7 attacks, which left about 1,200 people dead and some 250 others taken hostage.

Israel's war against Hamas has since laid waste to the Gaza Strip, killing more than 30,000 people, according to Gaza's Health Ministry. The UN says a quarter of Gaza's 2.3 million population faces starvation.

A top member of Israel's wartime Cabinet is meeting with UN officials in Washington while talks are underway in Egypt to broker a cease-fire in Gaza before the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins next week.


— Vice President Harris hosts Israeli war Cabinet member as the US pushes to get more aid into Gaza.

— A UN envoy says there are reasonable grounds' to believe Hamas committed sexual violence on October 7.

— Israel escalates its criticism of a UN agency in Gaza. It says 450 of its workers are militants.

— Netanyahu leaned on his top rival to help unify Israel. Now, Benny Gantz is more popular.

Here's the latest:


Palestinian officials say an Israeli airstrike has killed at least 17 people in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis.

First responders with the Civil Defence circulated video footage of rescuers pulling dead and wounded people from the rubble of a house, including a child with blood on his face who was not moving.

The nearby European Hospital said on Tuesday that it had received 17 bodies overnight.

Gaza's Health Ministry says a total of 97 people have been killed over the last 24 hours. That brought the overall Palestinian death toll from the nearly five-month war to 30,631, according to the ministry.

It does not differentiate between civilians and combatants in its figures but says women and children make up around two-thirds of the total casualties. It says over 72,000 people have been wounded.

Israel launched its offensive after Hamas-led militants stormed across the border on October 7, killing some 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducting around 250. Over 100 hostages were released last year in exchange for 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

Israel says it tries to avoid harming civilians and blames the high toll on Hamas because the militants operate in dense, residential areas. The military rarely comments on individual strikes.

The military said in a statement on Tuesday that it was carrying out targeted raids on militant infrastructure in Khan Younis while trying to evacuate civilians from the area.


Thailand's Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that five Thais were injured by an anti-tank missile fired from Lebanon on Monday.

Three of them were seriously injured and were being treated at Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa.

The number was revised down from seven injured after the Thai Embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed two were non-Thais, the ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The Hotline for Refugees and Migrants, an Israeli advocacy group, said a man from India was killed in Monday's attack. It said Israel was not doing enough to protect migrant workers hired for agricultural work in border areas under fire.

Farm workers from Asian countries have flocked to Israel in recent years, drawn by higher wages. Several foreign workers were among those killed and abducted in Hamas' October 7 attack out of Gaza, which triggered the war.

Israel and Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group have traded fire nearly every day since the start of the war in Gaza. Hezbollah, an ally of Hamas, says it is trying to pin down Israeli forces in the north to aid the Palestinian group.

Hezbollah did not immediately claim responsibility for Monday's strike.

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