UN: Evidence of crimes against humanity of extermination, gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys, murder, forcible transfer, and torture and inhuman and cruel treatment

The UN Independent International Commission Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory found evidence of crimes against humanity of extermination, gender persecution targeting Palestinian men and boys, murder, forcible transfer, and torture and inhuman and cruel treatment.

The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel said in a report that the Israeli authorities are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during military operations and attacks in Gaza since October 7, 2023.

In a documented investigation into sexual crimes committed in the conflict in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the first in-depth investigation by the United Nations into the events that occurred on October 7, 2023 and thereafter, the UN Commission exposed the falsehood of the Israeli narrative about the Palestinians committing “mass rape” that was promoted by many Western media outlets, in addition to the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence, Pramila Patten, whose report had the effect of distorting the image of the Palestinians. It was an “inconclusive” document that many in the West used to justify the brutal actions carried out by Israel armed forces against the Palestinians.

The new report of the committee, issued on June 12, 2024, refutes the allegations that the Israeli and Western media relied on based on the report prepared by the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, Pramila Patten, who issued a report based on a visit she conducted from January 29 to February 14 to “Israel and the occupied West Bank to collect, analyze and verify allegations of conflict-related sexual violence,” and in which she said that she believed that Hamas committed systematic sexual violence on October 7, although she later admitted that the matter required a thorough investigation that she could not conduct on her own.

The current extensive and in-depth investigation, based on evidence and witness statements, concluded that although violence against women occurred on October 7, there was no evidence of any rape, and denied the allegations of “gang rape” or that it was “ordered by Hamas,” as the Israelis claimed or as some foreign newspapers quoted Pramila Patten as saying.

The report stated in paragraph 26: “The Committee found that some specific allegations (previous ones from journalists and Israelis about Hamas committing rape) were false, inaccurate or contradicted by other evidence or data.”

In a closer reading of the report, we find that “rape” is mentioned only once, as the report confirmed that there is no evidence for that allegation against Hamas and other Palestinian factions. As for “sexual torture,” the report denied the allegations that Palestinian factions committed it, and there is no mention in the report of any of the other Israeli lies that spoke about “knives/nails” that were allegedly used in sexual assaults by Palestinians.

In contrast, in paragraphs (65-66-67), the report states that the commission “documented” targeting carried out by “Israel,” and that it included “sexual torture,” “sexual violence against females and males,” “humiliation, harassment and nudity”… and that “the sexual acts were carried out by force, including under threat, intimidation and other forms of coercion, in conditions that were inherently coercive due to the armed conflict and the presence of armed Israeli soldiers.”

The commission concluded, based on the circumstances and context surrounding these acts, that the gender-based violence directed against Palestinian women was aimed at humiliating the Palestinian people as a whole.

The investigation concluded that the Israeli regime was indeed engaging in a systematic campaign of sexual and gender-based violence against Palestinian children, women and men, and that it was a deep-rooted campaign and part of the Israeli military’s approved operational procedures (paragraph 103).

In paragraph 104, the report goes further, considering that Israeli sexual violence resulting from the occupation can only be eliminated by dismantling the occupation itself.

“Sexual and gender-based violence is a key element in the ill-treatment of Palestinians, aimed at humiliating the entire community,” the text states. “This violence is intrinsically linked to the broader context of inequality and prolonged occupation, which has provided the conditions and rationale for gender-based crimes to further exacerbate the subordination of the occupied population.” The Committee notes that “these crimes must be addressed by addressing their root causes, by dismantling the historical oppressive structures and institutionalized system of discrimination against Palestinians that are at the core of the occupation.” Ultimately, despite the lack of enforcement mechanisms for accountability by the United Nations, this report and previous reports that led the United Nations to blacklist Israel as a “child-killing state,” as well as reports documenting its deliberate targeting of international aid workers and UNRWA premises, will provide support to international courts examining Israel’s alleged genocide in Gaza, embolden states in condemning it and preventing arms exports to it, and increase its international isolation.

This new report comes after the United Nations secretary-general added the Israeli armed forces to the “list of shame” of warring parties committing grave violations against children in armed conflict.

Summary by LN


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