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Israeli FM Katz calls on UNSC to recognize Hamas acts of sexual violence on Oct. 7

Women protest march calling for the release of Israeli hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza, in Tel Aviv, Jan. 19, 2024. (Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the United Nations Security Council could potentially meet on Monday to discuss whether there were “reasonable grounds” to show that Hamas operatives committed acts of sexual violence during its attack on Israel’s southern border communities on Oct. 7.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Israel Katz announced that the United States, France and the United Kingdom had requested an emergency UN Security Council (UNSC) session regarding Hamas’ acts of sexual violence against Israeli women on Oct. 7.

The United States, the United Kingdom, and France, as permanent members of the UNSC, have the authority to request a meeting, however, Israel, not being a member of the UNSC, cannot. Slovenia, one of ten non-permanent members, is also expected to join the call, and Malta is weighing the matter, according to the Foreign Ministry.

In his social media post, Katz called on UN Sec-Gen. Antonio Guterres to take action and not be silent about Hamas’ brutal acts of sexual violence against women during the invasion.

“The US, UK, and France back my call for a UN Security Council session on Hamas's sexual violence. On International Women's Day, the @UN and the secretary general @antonioguterres must act, not be silent. Time to declare Hamas a terror group and call for the release of all hostages,” Katz wrote on 𝕏.

The Israeli foreign minister noted that Guterres has condemned the loss of Gazan civilian lives resulting from Israel’s military campaign in Gaza to destroy Hamas, but has been silent regarding the sexual crimes that were committed by the terrorist group.

He also called for the international community to declare Hamas a terror organization and to make “an unequivocal call for the immediate release of all the hostages in Gaza and said that it would be “a great victory for justice and morality and an important step on the way to returning the abductees home.”

The UN General Assembly and UNSC have advocated for several resolutions regarding Gaza but have not condemned Hamas for the brutality of its Oct. 7 invasion of Israel despite evidence that women and girls were raped, tortured, dismembered and burned alive.

When the UNSC meets, they will reportedly discuss the results of a report released by Pramila Patten, the UN's special envoy for Sexual Violence in Conflicts, earlier this week.

In the report, which contains “serious findings,” Patten, a women's rights activist, confirmed there are “reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred in multiple locations during the 7 October attacks, including rape and gang-rape in at least three locations, namely: the Nova music festival site and its surroundings, Road 232, and Kibbutz Re’im.”

Katz said with each passing moment, the lives of the hostages remained in peril and blasted Guterres, accusing him of ignoring the crimes of Hamas on a global day that celebrates women.

“Precisely on International Women's Day, his continued silence is a disgrace and casts a stain on his head that will not be erased.”

The UN secretary-general’s spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, previously stated Guterres has done nothing to “bury” the report and “has fully supported the work of Pramila Patten in her visit to Israel to look into conflict-related acts of sexual violence linked to the 7 October terror attacks.”

According to Dujarric, the only instruction Guterres gave to Patten was to “tell the truth.”

Earlier this week, UN official Reem Alsalem, was criticized for denying that Israeli women were mass raped by Palestinian men on Oct. 7.

This week, Israeli President Isaac Herzog called for the global community to acknowledge the crimes committed by Hamas on Oct. 7 and wrote that Patten's report "substantiates with moral clarity and integrity the systematic, premeditated, and ongoing sexual crimes committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women.

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

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