The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk stated that “there’s a want for a radical investigation into the horrible types of sexual violence:. (Photo: AFP)
GENEVA – The United Nations rights chief expressed grave concern on Wednesday about allegations of sexual violence by Hamas militants throughout their October 7 assault, calling on Israel to enable his crew to investigate.
“These are very critical allegations and so they should be investigated, they should be correctly documented,” stated Volker Turk, the United Nations excessive commissioner for human rights, at a press convention.
“Justice should be served to the victims,” he stated, stressing that he had repeatedly requested Israel for entry to investigate the claims, with no response.
Turk’s feedback got here amid continued criticism of the United Nations over its lackluster response to the alleged rapes and different sexual violence dedicated throughout Hamas’ unprecedented assault on Israel on October 7.
Even earlier than forensic examinations started, a flood of pictures confirmed the horrific nature of the assaults, with footage shared on-line and reside footage streamed by the militants as they killed 1,200 folks, principally civilians, in accordance to an Israeli depend.
In response to the Hamas assault, Israel vowed to destroy the group, and carried out relentless bombing and floor assaults in Gaza, killing greater than 16,200 folks, principally girls and youngsters, in accordance to the Hamas-run Gaza authorities.
Hamas flatly rejected allegations of rape and sexual violence through the October 7 assaults as “baseless lies”.
Israeli police, in the meantime, say they’re investigating proof of sexual violence, from alleged gang-rapes to posthumous mutilations, and a senior police official stated final week they’d collected “greater than 1,500 disturbing and disturbing testimonies”. till now.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has repeatedly accused the Palestinian army group of such actions, on Tuesday stated that he heard at a gathering with hostages launched by Hamas “about instances of sexual abuse and merciless rape “.
Anger on the allegations is rising, with US President Joe Biden this week calling on governments and worldwide organizations to “strongly condemn the sexual violence of Hamas terrorists in no unsure phrases”.
Too little, too late?
But annoyed campaigners have accused the UN of an insufficient response and betraying the worldwide human rights group.
It was not till final week that the United Nations started to difficulty stronger opinions, together with statements from the chief government of the United Nations Antonio Guterres and the company of the United Nations Women.
Early on Wednesday, Catherine Russell, head of the United Nations kids’s company UNICEF, described the accounts of sexual violence on October 7 as “appalling”.
“Survivors should be listened to, supported, and cared for. Allegations should be absolutely investigated,” she stated on X, previously referred to as Twitter.
“We condemn gender-based violence and all types of violence towards girls and ladies.”
However, Israel’s overseas ministry rapidly criticized that remark as too little, too late.
Spokesman Lior Haiat blasted Russell for not commenting on the alleged crimes.
“The indisputable fact that she (Russell) shouldn’t be referring to the terrorist group Hamas is one other manner to flip a blind eye to the assaults carried out by Hamas,” he instructed AFP.
“By mentioning Hamas she is legitimizing their actions”.
An unbiased investigation is required
Meanwhile, Turk emphasised that Israel itself had not responded to his repeated requests for entry to investigate the allegations independently.
“We take the allegations very severely,” he stated, however “you’ve to do an in depth investigation to see if it was premeditated, whether or not it was widespread, systematic”.
“I can not affirm this.”
He expressed that he “requested the Israeli authorities for weeks … to deploy a crew, my crew, to monitor, doc, investigate the problems of the horrible assaults on Israelis”.
“I’ve made this name once more and I hope will probably be heard however thus far, I’ve not obtained a solution.”
Even if entry is denied, Turk stated that “we’ll discover different methods and means to discuss to whoever we want to discuss to”.
“Heinous types of sexual violence should be totally investigated, and we should be sure that justice is served,” he stated.
“That’s what we owe the victims.”