Israel is actively investigating cases of rape committed by Hamas during the horrific attacks that occurred on October 7. The Israeli police are utilizing forensic evidence, video footage, witness testimonies, and suspect interrogations to document and gather information on these heinous acts of sexual violence.
According to witnesses who have seen the aftermath of the attacks, women and girls were not only physically tortured and killed but also brutalized sexually. Superintendent Dudi Katz stated that the police have collected over 1,000 statements and more than 60,000 video clips related to the attacks, some of which include accounts from individuals who reported witnessing instances of rape. While investigators do not have firsthand testimonies, it remains uncertain whether any rape victims have survived.
On that fateful day, approximately 1,200 Israelis lost their lives, and numerous others were injured in the villages and farms near Gaza, as Hamas militants launched coordinated attacks. These attacks also resulted in over 240 individuals being taken as hostages, subsequently escalating the ongoing war. As per the authorities in Hamas-controlled Gaza, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed.
While it is plausible that the investigation may lead to prosecutions in the future, Police Commissioner Shabtai Yaakov emphasizes that the primary focus at present is to document the atrocities. In response to the lack of attention given to the violence against Israeli women and girls during the war, Cochav Elkayam-Levy, a human rights law expert at Hebrew University, has established a civil commission to gather evidence. Elkayam-Levy expresses concern that amidst the devastation wrought upon Gaza and its people, the world seems to be overlooking the plight of Israeli women and girls who have endured sexual violence. She argues that when the international community fails to acknowledge these crimes, humanity suffers as a whole.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. What is Hamas?
Hamas is a Palestinian political and military organization that has been in control of the Gaza Strip since 2007. It is considered a terrorist group by several countries, including the United States and the European Union.
2. How many casualties were there during the October 7 attacks?
Approximately 1,200 Israelis lost their lives, and numerous others were injured during the attacks that occurred on October 7. These attacks were perpetrated by Hamas militants in villages and farms near Gaza.
3. How many Palestinians have been killed during the ongoing war?
According to authorities in Hamas-controlled Gaza, more than 11,000 Palestinians have been killed during the ongoing war.
4. What is the current status of the investigation into the sexual violence committed by Hamas?
The investigation is still ongoing, and Israel’s police acknowledge that it may take several months to complete. The evidence gathered so far includes forensic evidence, video footage, witness testimonies, and suspect interrogations.
5. Can victims seek justice in countries other than Israel or international courts?
It is possible that some families of dual nationals may seek justice in countries other than Israel. Additionally, pursuing cases in international courts is another avenue for seeking justice against those responsible for the sexual violence committed by Hamas.