Nearly two months after the Hamas attack on Israel on October 7, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres acknowledged on Wednesday that Hamas terrorists performed acts of sexual violence against Israelis.
“There are numerous accounts of sexual violence during the abhorrent acts of terror by Hamas on 7 October that must be vigorously investigated and prosecuted,” Guterres wrote on X.
“Gender-based violence must be condemned. Anytime. Anywhere,” he added.
Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gilad Erdan, told Kan 11 News in response, “Even now the UN Secretary-General refuses to accept the evidence and the authorities' determination that Hamas committed horrific sexual crimes. He only says that there are many accounts ‘that need to be investigated’ and in his statement there is no acknowledgment that these shocking cases were carried out by Hamas terrorists. It refers to some investigation of an unknown factor that is highly unlikely to be carried out by anyone.”
Israel has criticized UN Women for its failure to condemn the rape and murder of Israeli women by Hamas terrorists during the October 7 attack.
Survivor testimony and interrogation of captured terrorists gathered by the Israel Police found that the Hamas terrorists who perpetrated the October 7 attack committed mass rape against their victims during the massacre.
Israel's First Lady, Michal Herzog, last week published an opinion piece in Newsweek, expressing the sense of outrage and betrayal over the international community's failure to condemn the use of gender-based sexual violence by Hamas.
Guterres recently caused an uproar when he said that Hamas’ attack on Israel “did not happen in a vacuum” and appeared to blame Israel for the attack.
After his remarks were widely condemned, Guterres claimed his comments were misinterpreted and that he had indeed condemned Hamas.
He later criticized Israel once again, claiming that the high numbers of civilian casualties reported from Gaza show that there is something "clearly wrong" with Israel's response to the Hamas attack on October 7.