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Israeli President Herzog stresses importance of UN recognizing Hamas’ sexual crimes against Israeli women

Pramilla Patten, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, meets with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal, Jan. 29, 2024 (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Israeli President Isaac Herzog emphasized the importance of the newly-released UN report that recognizes the systematic sexual crimes perpetrated by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women.

“The report issued by UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, and her team is of immense importance. It substantiates with moral clarity and integrity the systematic, premeditated, and ongoing sexual crimes committed by Hamas terrorists against Israeli women,” Herzog wrote on 𝕏.

The Israeli president further warned that Hamas and its allies would seek to discredit the UN report to avoid responsibility for the unprecedented crimes committed by the terror group and other Palestinian terrorists who invaded the Jewish state on Oct. 7 and slaughtered and killed 1,200 Israeli men, women and children.

“Hamas and its allies are trying to discredit the report, to escape from this horrific shame. They will not succeed as the testimonies are shocking indeed. Therefore, now the world must react strongly by condemning and punishing Hamas. We must all continue our relentless efforts to bring all the hostages home to their families. As we can learn from the report they are constantly under clear and present danger,” Herzog stated.

Some Israeli and international pundits have compared the phenomenon of denying the grave Hamas crimes against Israelis with Holocaust denial. The Jewish state and many of its friends worldwide have also criticized the United Nations and other international bodies for their silence in the face of the atrocities.

In December, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blasted the international community for ignoring or trying to downplay the scope of crimes Hamas committed.

“I didn’t hear the human rights organizations, or the women’s organizations, or the women’s organizations of the UN… and I ask them: Where are you? Were you quiet because we were talking about Jewish women? I want to say this in a language that everybody understands,” Netanyahu said in a statement at the time.

“I expect all civilized leaders, governments, nations to speak up against this atrocity,” he added.

Following growing criticism, the United Nations decided in January to send its envoy Patten to Israel on a fact-finding mission. Patten who oversees monitoring sexual violence in conflict areas, urged Israeli victims and witnesses to speak up about the Hamas atrocities committed on Oct. 7.

“I’m here for a week, I’m prepared to meet you in a safe and enabling environment and to listen to your stories, the world needs to know what really happened on October 7,” Patten said.

“Please come forward, please break your silence because your silence will be the license of those perpetrators,” she urged.

Patten met with Herzog and other Israeli officials during her visit to Israel, as well as victims and witnesses of the horrific attack, and toured some of the Israeli communities that were devastated during the Oct. 7 invasion.

Patten’s visit to Israel resulted in a 24-page UN report that concluded there is “clear and convincing” evidence of systematic sexual violence committed by Hamas operatives against Israeli women both on Oct. 7 and later against hostages held inside the Gaza Strip.

“The mission was a difficult one in terms of what we heard and the details,” Patten recalled during a meeting with journalists.

“We saw a catalog of the most extreme and inhumane forms of torture and other horrors,” the UN official stressed. However, she admitted that her mission “was neither intended nor mandated to be investigative in nature.”

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

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