News Release

Evidence Grows of Israeli Military Sexual Violence Against Palestinian Women and Girls


ARUN GUPTA,, @arunindy
Gupta’s latest reporting on allegations of sexual and gender-based violence during the Oct. 7 attacks is in YES Magazine: “Claims of Mass Rape by Hamas Unravel Upon Investigation” and The Intercept “American Media Keep Citing Zaka — Though Its October 7 Atrocity Stories Are Discredited in Israel” about the scandal-ridden Israeli organization.

He said today: “For months U.S. media have published hundreds of articles lending credibility to Israeli claims that Hamas carried out a campaign of rape during the Oct. 7 attacks. Those claims were dubious from the start, lacked solid evidence and survivor testimony, and many have been discredited. Most recently the New York Times was forced to retract one of the most widely cited rape claims, that of an Israeli special forces paramedic with Unit 669, after evidence surfaced showing he fabricated the story. But that story was never credible. Myself and other journalists have been warning for months his story was false based on a close examination of available evidence, as were many of the other high-profile claims credulously accepted by Western media.

“At the same time, evidence was growing that Israeli military forces in the West Bank and Gaza were committing sexual violence against Palestinian women, girls, and men. Unlike Israeli claims, Palestinian survivors have been openly testifying about sexual violence committed against them. Additionally, three different International human rights organizations have corroborated claims and interviewed Palestinian survivors of sexual violence.

“In February, two U.N. Special Rapporteurs and four U.N. experts said they were ‘distressed’ at reports ‘that Palestinian women and girls in detention have also been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence.’”

“Later in February, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor released a report that included the testimony of four Palestinian women in Gaza who ‘report being subjected to sexual violence, torture, inhuman treatment, strip searches, sexual harassment, and rape threats while being arrested and held by Israeli army forces.’”

“Most recently, Al Jazeera received access to unpublished report from UNRWA on Israeli sexual violence against Palestinian detainees: ‘Practices recorded by UNRWA include the use of a nail gun on prisoners’ knees, sexual abuse against both men and women and the insertion of what appears to be an electrified metal stick into prisoners’ rectums.’ Also see the Al Jazeera investigation on Oct. 7 that debunks many atrocity stories and unmasks Yossi Landau, an official with the scandal-plagued Zaka organization tasked with collecting human remains after Hamas’ massacre, for fabricating atrocities.

“Many claims of sexual violence have been made by both Palestinians and Israelis. Some are clearly fake stories. In an atmosphere where atrocity propaganda is being used to further military aims, the media have a critical role in corroborating allegations of sexual violence as much as possible by scouring for details, hard evidence, documentation, and supporting witnesses.

“But so far only Palestinian survivors have spoken out, and the only clear photo evidence of sexual violence is that committed against Palestinians, including more than a dozen men, fully naked, blindfolded, and trussed up, with some bearing wounds that may indicate torture. Additionally, at least half-a-dozen Palestinian women and men have spoken on camera or to the media describing in detail sexual violence and torture that they or female relatives endured at the hands of Israeli military forces in Gaza. It is imperative that the media finally give the same amount of prominence and space to presenting credible Palestinian allegations of sexual violence as it gave to dodgy and false Israeli claims.”