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Hamas sexual violence against Israeli women revealed at UN: ‘Girls without any clothes on, without tops, without underwear’

Israeli UN Ambassador Erdan slammed the UN’s silence about atrocities during event featuring Sheryl Sandberg, Hillary Clinton, Senator Gillibrand and first responders testimonies

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan speaking at a session at the UN Headquarters on sexual violence committed by Hamas against Israeli women (Photo courtesy)

Israel’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations held a powerful session at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Monday, exposing the horrors of sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women. 

The event took place after eight weeks of Israel's war against Hamas, in which the Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan has been urging UN bodies and the international community to condemn Hamas for these atrocities. 

“Sadly, the very international bodies that are supposedly the defenders of all women showed that when it comes to Israelis, indifference is acceptable. To these organizations, Israeli women are not women, the rape of Israelis is not an act of rape. Their silence has been deafening!” Erdan stated. 

It was only in the days leading up to the event that UN Women and the UN Sec.-Gen. António Guterres explicitly began to address the issue, suggesting it should be investigated. 

“There are numerous accounts of sexual violence during the abhorrent acts of terror by Hamas on 7 October that must be vigorously investigated and prosecuted. Gender-based violence must be condemned. Anytime. Anywhere,” wrote Guterres. 

Erdan lambasted Guterres, saying: “Two months after the massacre and the rapes, the UN remembered to propose an investigation? And by an antisemitic body? The only investigation that should take place is into the shocking silence and indifference of UN Women in the face of the rape and crimes of sexual violence committed against Israeli women.”

The session titled ‘Hear Our Voices’ was hosted by Tal Heinrich, newly-appointed spokeswoman to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and former ALL ISRAEL NEWS senior correspondent.

In her opening remarks, Heinrich told the attendees that more than 300 women were slaughtered by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.

“Some of these women were murdered TWICE,” said Heinrich. “The first time, when bloodthirsty Hamas terrorists committed shocking acts of sexual violence against them… The second time these women were murdered was when terrorists put a bullet in them. In at least one case, this happened simultaneously.”

“We will not allow for a THIRD time to take place - through denial and neglect - a refusal to acknowledge and grieve them. Today, we will scream their story, for there cannot be silence in the face of such atrocities,” she added. 

About 700 ambassadors and diplomats, representatives of UN agencies, Jewish organizations, and civil society organizations attended the event. They heard testimonies from women’s rights expert and first responders who handled the bodies. 

Demonstrators gather during a protest against crimes and sexual violence against women in October 7 Hamas massacre, outside of United Nations Headquarters in New York City, Dec. 4, 2023. (Photo: Yakov Binyamin/Flash90)

Simcha Greiniman, a volunteer with ZAKA, a non-governmental rescue and recovery organization in Israel, described, in a shaking voice, the conditions in which he found some of the bodies as he entered the houses in Israeli southern communities. 

He said, one murdered woman “had nails and different objects in her female organs.” Another body was brutalized to the extent that Greiniman and his team could not identify if the corpse was a man or woman.

Shari Mendes, a member of an IDF reserve unit in charge of identifying and preparing the bodies of deceased female soldiers for burial, testified she saw “systematic genital mutilation.” She described some bodies with broken pelvises and cut off breasts or legs. 

“Shooting was targeted at sexual organs. We saw that a lot,” one female Israeli police officer reaffirmed in a video testimony that was played at the event. 

“The women we received, they were civilian… We mainly saw either breast amputations or gun shoots just to the breast, simply shooting from one side of the breast to the other,” another female officer described. 

“As for man, they were also shot in their genitalia,” she added. 

Yael Reichert, a chief superintendent with the Israel's national police, provided a similar description: “Everything was an apocalypse of corpses, girls without any clothes on, without tops, without underwear, people cut in half, butchered, some were beheaded.”

One shocking piece of evidence was provided by a female survivor who was at the Nova music festival, where 364 Israelis were killed in cold-blood.

“There was a situation where they laid a woman down and I understood that he was raping her… I remember how he shifted her position, then passed her on to another person,” the survivor recalled in a video testimony.

“She was alive… She was standing… She was bleeding from her back… She had a long hair, and he was pulling it… She wasn’t dressed… He cut her breast. He threw it on the road, and they played with it.” 

Former Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg also addressed the UN session. In her speech, she emphasized that “rape should never be used as an act of war.”

Sandberg stated that “silence is complicity” in the face of such atrocities.

“It threatens to undo decades of progress, to undo an entire movement. The world has to decide who to believe, do we believe the Hamas spokesperson… or do we believe the women?” she asked. 

Tom Bernthal, Sheryl Sandberg, Gilad Erdan, Debra Messing at UN session on Hamas sexual violence against Israeli women, Dec. 4, 2023 (Photo courtesy)

Sandberg, an advocate for the rights of women and girls, invited Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) to the podium. The senator said that she “chocked” when she saw the list of women’s rights organizations who have remained silent in the face of the terrorist's vile acts against women. 

“Where is the solidarity for women in this country and in this world to stand up for our mothers, our sisters and our daughters?” Gillibrand asked. 

In recent weeks, many Israelis called out the striking difference between the staunch advocacy for women’s rights across the globe, and how Israeli female victims of sexual violence were left out of that same conversation. 

On social media, the hashtag #MeToo Unless Ur A Jew went viral. 

This hypocrisy was highlighted in a remarkable speech delivered by Linor Abargil. She is a former Israeli model who herself is a victim of rape.  

"My name is Linor Abargil, and I am a rape survivor," she said in the beginning. “I was only 18 at the time. It's been 25 years. Since October 7, I've been hearing the demons in my head, the terrible videos, bringing everything back. I feel their pain, their lives that were taken.

"I remember the days I spoke up in public about my personal experience 25 years ago. I remember the warm embrace of the international women's organizations. I felt I had support, that someone believed me, that someone listened to me. Did these organizations demand any proof then? Did they question my version? Did they ask to conduct a comprehensive investigation before jumping to conclusions? No!" Abargil continued.

"How convenient it was at that time for these organizations to use my name, my fame, to invite me to their conferences, that are in a world of their own. To take a photo as the woman who became for them a symbol. How ashamed I feel that I was nothing but an extra in their production.

"Why? Because today, in these conferences, they don't want to present the blood stains on the pants, the desecrated bodies of my sisters, the blood-thirsty Hamas terrorists even documented their war crimes, and still, most women's organizations are silent. 

"The truth will be revealed, we will not forget them and we will ensure that the world will not forget them. We will be the voice taken from them."

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent a video message.

“I have grieved with Israeli women who have lost loved ones to terrorist attacks, but refused to believe that peace is impossible.” 

The event was held in partnership with the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), the World Zionist Organization, Shazur, the Women's International Zionist Organization (WIZO), Hadassah Hospital and the Shusterman Foundation. 

Click here to learn more about the call for UN Women to acknowledge and condemn the atrocities by Hamas and its accomplices against Jewish women,

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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