Report: More claims of 'Hamas mass rape' proven false

  A report by Haaretz published on 18 April acknowledges that key allegations claiming Hamas committed mass rape on 7 October are false, including the shocking claim made by the New York Times that nails were driven into a woman’s groin.

On 28 December, the NY Times published an article claiming it had “viewed photographs of one woman’s corpse that emergency responders discovered in the rubble of a besieged kibbutz with dozens of nails driven into her thighs and groin.” 

The authors of the article, Jeffrey Gettleman, Anat Schwartz, and Adam Sella, cited the photograph as evidence that "attacks against women were not isolated events but part of a broader pattern of gender-based violence on Oct. 7."

However, Haaretz stated in its 18 April report that its journalists had seen the photo in question but that it does not appear to show what the Times claimed.

The photo was shown to Haaretz by Chaim Otmazgin, who is both a commander in the ZAKA rescue service and a reservist in the Israeli army.

ZAKA volunteers were allowed by the Israeli army to collect corpses at various sites on 7 October, including in Kibbutz Be'eri and at the Nova festival, where many were killed during the Hamas attack, including many by Israeli forces, per the Hannibal Directive.

The Israeli paper reported that "Otmazgin showed several of the photographs in his possession to Haaretz, including the one said to show nails having been inserted into the groin. The photograph was taken almost a week after the massacre and is definitely of poor quality. The possibility that what is depicted is indeed nails seems reasonable, certainly in combination with his testimony, but it's impossible to determine this unequivocally."

Haaretz added that its journalists "saw part of the documentation in Otmazgin's possession during an in-person meeting – but he said he did not want to share the rest of out of respect for the dead and their families."

Another key rape claim by Otmazgin has already been shown to be false. Haaretz reports further that in one of the kibbutzim near Gaza, Otmazgin found "the bodies of a mother and her two daughters, with one of the daughters found in a separate room, her clothes pulled down. He concluded, mistakenly, that the girl had been raped."

Before Otmazgin entered the room, the bodies had already been photographed fully clothed by army explosives experts (sappers) who were combing the home to ensure it was safe to enter. It was only later that the clothes of one of the two daughters had been pulled down.

Haaretz reports, "Although the bodies were clothed when the sappers had photographed them, the clothes of one of the daughters had been pulled down while her body was being dragged to another room. The discovery of this mistake led to a correction in the report of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers and the publication of a clarification on the subject in Haaretz as well."

It in unclear why the body was dragged, rather than carried, and by whom. This raises questions of whether Otmazgin or someone else sought to stage a rape scene by pulling the daughter's clothes down after the sappers had photographed the bodies.

Haaretz also cited its reporting in December that Yossi Landau of ZAKA spread two false stories about alleged Hamas atrocities on 7 October. Landau falsely claimed that about 20 bound and burned bodies of children were supposedly found on a kibbutz and that he found the body of a pregnant woman whose belly had been slit open.

The story of the pregnant woman, which included the distribution of a false video that had been shot at a different time and a different place, was repeated by Israeli spokespersons.

In the 18 April report, Haaretz also notes the case of the Secret Forest project in Cyprus, which provided psychological support to more than 1,000 survivors of 7 October by telephone.

The organization claimed that when its interviewers asked survivors if they had witnessed sexual violence, eight said they had been eyewitnesses to such assaults, five said they had been earwitnesses, and two others replied in vague terms.

However, Haaretz notes, "The project is not in possession of details about these cases because the interviewers were instructed not to pursue the subject," calling the Secret Forest project's claims into question.

Haaretz does not say why the interviewers were instructed not to pursue the subject further.

The 18 April Haaretz report made another important acknowledgment. It added that Israeli police do not have video evidence of any cases of sexual assault from 7 October.

On 23 October, the Israeli army showed a 43-minute video to selected journalists, claiming it showed Hamas atrocities.  

The Times of Israel reported that Israeli Army Major Gen. Mickey Edelstein, who briefed reporters after the viewing, said that "we have evidence" of rape but "we cannot share it," declining to elaborate further.

However, Haaretz reported that "it emerges that the intelligence material collected by the police and the intelligence bodies, including footage from terrorists' body cameras, does not contain visual documentation of any acts of rape themselves."

Haaretz noted its previous reporting from November, which showed "the police had not collected any forensic evidence of the perpetration of sex crimes during the massacre."

Haaretz added as well that forensic pathologists who examined completely or partially naked bodies for the possibility of rape at the Shura military base found "no signs on any of those bodies attesting to sexual relations having taken place or of mutilation of genitalia."

At the same time, the pathologists only had time to examine roughly 25 percent of the corpses brought to the Shura base.

The 18 April Haaretz report also refuted the claim made by senior Israeli officials and representatives that Hamas fighters received explicit orders from the Hamas leadership to rape Israelis during the 7 October attack. "The sex crimes were planned in advance," Israel's UN ambassador, Gilad Erdan, claimed in December.

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant made the same claim, as reported by the Washington Post.

But a spokeswoman for Gallant told Haaretz that the quote had been "distorted and that Gallant had never said that."

Haaretz reported that after checking with several security bodies, "Israel has no proof that the terrorists of Hamas or other organizations received explicit orders to commit acts of rape."

Finally, Haaretz reports that although Pramila Patten, the UN's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, "urged Israel to sign a cooperation framework with her office" to properly investigate claims Hamas fighters committed mass rape, Israeli politicians refused to do so.

Haaretz writes, "The politicians in Israel did exactly the opposite." Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz accused the UN of "the silencing of the sex crimes" immediately after Patten's report was made public, even though the report was sympathetic to Israeli claims.


Sexual Violence 2503831158916276933

Post a Comment







Support space

KARAMA in the news

News stories from around the world (third-party content)

Human Rights News

Sponsors' Space

HUQUQ Journal (external)

KARAMA Pageviews

Ad Space


- Navigation -