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UN official continues to deny Hamas mass rape of Israeli women two days after 'clear and convincing' evidence presented

Reem Alsalem asserts she is unaware of missiles shot daily into Israel from Hamas in south, from Hezbollah in north

Reem Alsalem, UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls (Photo: Screenshot)

The UN Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women and Girls, Reem Alsalem, continues to deny that Israeli women were mass raped by Palestinian men on Oct. 7, while claiming she has not heard or seen that Israel has been under heavy missile bombardment from Gaza in the south, and from Hezbollah in the north.

Four days after Oct. 7, Alsalem posted on 𝕏 that the information about mass rapes of Israeli girls and women was “disinformation that was not examined in depth.”

In an interview with journalist Bar Shem-Ur in Ynet news, which was published on Tuesday, Alsalem repeated her claims.

“There was information that flew around, especially in the early days, that then turned out not to be true. I regret that until now I have not received any information. And that information is what I need in order to be able to do my work,” she said.

Shem-Ur reminded Alsalem that the terrorists had filmed the atrocities and Israel had made the footage public and asked her if she had seen the film. She refused to answer and instead made the astonishing claim that the footage was not enough evidence for her.

“We cannot rely on only digital material or material produced online or by the media… I cannot at this stage say… what exactly has happened,” she insisted, while going even further and insinuating that the film had been engineered by Israel.

“It may have happened indeed… I have not received the film. I am not a technical expert on videos, so I on my own will not be able to assess these videos. I will also need to seek technical expertise,” she said.

Two days before the interview, UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten released a 24-page report. It concluded that there is “clear and convincing” evidence of systematic sexual violence committed by Hamas operatives against Israeli women, both on Oct. 7 itself, and later against hostages held inside the Gaza Strip.

“We saw a catalog of the most extreme and inhumane forms of torture and other horrors,” Patten said.

Alsalem, on the other hand, appears to accept Hamas' claims and said that Israel was committing war crimes and genocide in Gaza.

“Reports of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and unfolding genocide,” she told the Israeli journalist, who responded, “Israeli cities and Israeli schools are also being bombarded every single day.”

Alsalem asserted she had no knowledge of the missiles shot against Israel from Hamas in the south to Hezbollah in the north.

“Every single day?” she replied. “Well, I would recommend, if that is the case, I would recommend that you also send that information to the special procedures so that we can look into it.”

The incredulous journalist asked her if she had not seen the news reports about the missiles, to which she responded that she had not. When pressed on the issue, she then said: “I have seen missile attacks, we have condemned attacks.”

On the day of the interview, Hezbollah fired more than 30 rockets towards the Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona. On Monday, Hezbollah rockets killed one person and wounded another seven.

Alsalem was also the co-author of a February report that accused the IDF of sexually abusing Palestinian women and girls and abducting Palestinian babies.

When asked in the interview what her sources were for that allegation she refused to respond, saying it was “reasonably credible information” and that she could not say more due to “reasons of security.”

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

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