“RWe strongly reject the report issued by UN official Patten,” the Palestinian Islamist organization said in a statement cited by the Spanish agency EFE.

In the report, the UN special representative for sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, said there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that Hamas committed rape, “sexual torture” and other cruel and inhumane treatment of women.

There are also “reasonable grounds to believe that this violence may still be ongoing,” according to Patten, who visited Israel and the West Bank from January 29 to February 14 with a nine-member team.

In the report released on Monday, the UN mission acknowledged the inability to interview victims because the Israeli government claimed that many of them were still traumatized and receiving treatment.

“Your [Patten] report, which does not provide any testimony, is based on Israeli institutions, soldiers and witnesses chosen by the occupation authorities to prove this false accusation”, denounced Hamas.

According to the extremist group, the UN report “comes after failed attempts by Zionists to prove these baseless allegations”.

Hamas also said that Israel tried to cover up a UN report “with conclusive evidence that there were clear human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls by Zionist soldiers.”

It further alleged that some of the women released during the truce observed last November said they had been treated well during their captivity in the Gaza Strip.

In January, Israeli women released by Hamas told a committee of the Israeli parliament that the hostages still in Gaza had been sexually abused by members of the Palestinian Islamist group.

Following the conclusions of the UN mission, Israeli President Isaac Herzog today called on the international community to “firmly condemn and punish” the crimes of sexual violence attributed to Hamas.

“Hamas and its allies are trying to discredit the report, to escape this horrible shame. They will not succeed, as the testimonies are truly shocking,” said Herzog.

On October 7, Hamas attacked Israel with the launch of thousands of rockets and the simultaneous infiltration of around 3,000 militiamen who killed around 1,200 people in cities near the Gaza Strip.

The attackers also abducted more than two hundred people, around 100 of whom are still alive in the Palestinian enclave, according to Israeli authorities.

The unprecedented attack triggered the current war, which in five months caused more than 30,500 deaths in Gaza, mostly civilians, according to health authorities in the enclave controlled by Hamas.

The Palestinian group is considered a terrorist organization by Israel, the United States and the European Union.

Read Also: Hamas and Israel reach agreement on “basic points” for 40-day truce

Source: https://www.noticiasaominuto.com/mundo/2515089/hamas-nega-acusacoes-da-onu-de-crimes-sexuais-contra-mulheres

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