UN admits Oct. 7 pogrom by Hamas included rape, torture

By Seth Galinsky
March 18, 2024

It took five long months, but the United Nations office that supposedly fights against “conflict-related sexual violence” finally issued a report March 4 that admits there are “reasonable grounds to believe” that rape and gang rape by Hamas forces was widespread during their Oct. 7 pogrom against Jews in Israel. Some U.N. personnel and agencies have been found to have collaborated with Hamas in its deadly pogrom and other activities.

In carefully nuanced language aimed at avoiding any definitive findings, the U.N. committee said the “pattern of undressing and restraining of victims may be indicative of some forms of sexual violence.” The U.N. also admits there are “reasonable grounds to believe” hostages still being held by Hamas and other Tehran-financed terrorist groups in Gaza may face ongoing “rape and sexualized torture and sexualized cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.”

Despite all the physical evidence, eyewitness testimony and explicit videos filmed and posted on the internet by the terrorist thugs themselves, the U.N. “mission team” said it could not “draw conclusions” on the responsibility of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the so-called Popular Resistance Committees for these horrific crimes. 

In the entire report there is not one word on the goal of the Hamas death squads — to humiliate, dehumanize and terrorize all Jews, especially women, kill them or drive them from the region and destroy Israel. The assault had nothing to do with defending the interests of Palestinians in Gaza or anywhere else.

“It’s the first time an international organization has acknowledged the sexual crimes that took place, that’s the good side,” Orit Sulitzeanu, CEO of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, told the Militant  by phone from Tel Aviv March 6. She said she had met with the U.N. investigators, “but they refuse to say that it was Hamas and other terrorists from Gaza. What do they think? That the killers just fell from the sky?”

The Rape Crisis Centers report “Silent Cry: Sexual Crimes in the October 7 War” says sexual violence was carried out “systematically and deliberately.”

The Oct. 7 pogrom, with 1,200 killed, more than 5,000 wounded and over 250 hostages kidnapped and taken to Gaza, was the worst massacre of Jews since the Nazi Holocaust.

“What is happening to people in Gaza today is bad,” Sulitzeanu said, referring to the Israeli offensive to eliminate Hamas’ structure and leadership. “But their own leaders don’t care about the people there. It is Israel that is trying to alleviate the suffering.

“People see these photos of Gaza, but don’t want to think about how this began,” she said. “When terrorists invade your country, murder, and rape women, can you let that terror continue?”

Representatives of the Israeli government have been negotiating in Cairo for a temporary cease-fire to allow for a new hostage release. Hamas says that 70 of the remaining 130 or so hostages in Gaza are dead. The Israeli government insists Hamas must present a list of all the hostages who are still alive for the talks to proceed.

Hamas official Basem Naim claimed March 5 that the reactionary bourgeois group doesn’t know and that it won’t be able to find out which hostages are still alive until there is a cease-fire. He then told BBC that information on the hostages is “valuable” and can’t be given out “for free.”

It’s the same cynicism the Islamist group displays toward Palestinian civilians in Gaza, who it says it has no responsibility for and uses as human shields by building tunnels under hospitals, mosques, apartment buildings and other places civilians gather. And they are dying because of what Hamas does, while Hamas claims them as martyrs.

The main liberal bourgeois newspapers in the U.S., including the New York Times  and Washington Post, act as apologists for Hamas, casting aspersions on Israel’s actions and motives.

Both papers reported Hamas’ charge — with not a shred of reliable evidence — that Israeli soldiers had shot down over 100 Palestinians in cold blood in northern Gaza who were trying to get aid from a truck convoy Feb. 29. They report little of what the Israeli government reports and gloss over the most basic facts.

They repeatedly report claims that the Israeli government is blocking aid shipments to civilians in Gaza. But in fact, it was U.N. agencies that suspended all aid to the north, blaming their decision on rising “lawlessness” by the Gazans.

Israeli gov’t tries to ensure aid

The Israeli government took on ensuring that aid arrived. For three days in a row prior to Feb. 29, Israeli troops had escorted aid convoys to northern Gaza without incident. Israel had contracted with Palestinian businessmen from Gaza to provide the trucks and drivers and transport the aid. One of those Gaza businessmen, Izzat Aqel, told the New York Times  that the deaths Feb. 29 were caused when Gazans crowded around the trucks and attempted to seize the supplies around 4:30 a.m.

“If they had waited we would have sent more aid,” he said.

Israel Defense Forces spokesperson Daniel Hagari says a group had separated from those looting the trucks and moved toward soldiers and a tank at an IDF checkpoint. When they ignored warning shots, Israeli troops fired, causing 10 or fewer deaths.

“Dozens of Gazans were killed and injured as a result of the stampede” to get the aid, Hagari said, or were run over by Palestinian truck drivers trying to get out of danger. As the convoy regrouped and continued north, it was attacked and looted by an armed gang.

Even before the facts of what actually happened saw the light of day, imperialist “allies” of Israel were taking Hamas’ false claims of what had transpired as good coin. The White House repeated claims of Israel’s responsibility and called the deaths “tremendously alarming.” The French and German governments demand an immediate, long-term cease-fire.

Hagari said Israeli authorities will issue a full report, once its investigation is complete. Meanwhile, it plans to restart food deliveries as rapidly as possible.