Ambassador Gilad Erdan
Ambassador Gilad ErdanSpokesperson

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Gilad Erdan, on Tuesday wrote a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, calling on him to immediately convene the Security Council to discuss the UN report which acknowledged the sexual crimes committed by Hamas during and after its attack on Israel on October 7.

“With grave urgency, I call on you today to demand that you convene an urgent Security Council meeting, following yesterday’s release of SRSG Paten's mission report on the horrific atrocities perpetrated by Hamas against Israeli women and girls on October 7th,” wrote Erdan.

“In Ms. Patten's report, she states that there is ‘clear and convincing information’ that hostages seized during the October 7th terror attacks, and currently being held in Gaza, have been subjected to rape and sexualized torture. She noted that she has reasonable grounds to believe that this sexual violence may be ongoing against the hostages still being held by Hamas and other terror groups in Gaza,” he added.

Erdan pointed out that, in December, Guterres “took the unprecedented step to invoke Article 99 of the UN Charter to convene an urgent Security Council meeting regarding Gaza and the humanitarian situation there. The findings conveyed in the mission report are alarming and constitute a humanitarian emergency. This is an urgent matter of the utmost severity that must receive the full attention of the Security Council. The dire humanitarian situation of Israel's hostages merits equal attention by the world.”

“I urge you to immediately call upon the Security Council to convene, in light of Hamas’ clear and present threat to regional security, and the ongoing dangers our hostages face being held by Hamas in Gaza in violation of all international laws and norms. Hamas must be held accountable and designated as a terror organization, and the Security Council, as well as all UN bodies and resources, must fully commit themselves to ensuring the immediate end of Hamas’ sexual crimes and the release of all hostages,” the letter concluded.

In addition, Ambassador Erdan called on the ambassadors of the member states of the UN Security Council - the United States, Britain, China, Russia, Japan, France, Malta, Slovenia, Ecuador, Switzerland, Albania, Ghana, Gabon, Mozambique and Brazil - to submit a request calling for the convening of the Security Council following the findings of the report.

Erdan noted, "Since the October 7 massacre, the Security Council has met 22 times on the issue of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and not one condemnation of the actions of Hamas has yet been published by the Council.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lior Haiat said on Monday, following the publication of the UN report, that “Israel is calling for the immediate convening of the Security Council with the aim of designating Hamas as a terrorist organization and the imposition of international sanctions on it.”

After weeks of ignoring Hamas’ sexual violence during the October 7 attack, UN Women issued its first condemnation of the brutality in early December.

Guterres also waited nearly two months before he finally acknowledged that Hamas committed acts of sexual violence during the attack.