Two United Nations rights experts demanded Monday that Hamas be held accountable for a multitude of alleged crimes, including sexual torture, during its terror attack on Israel October 7.
Alice Jill Edwards, U.N. special rapporteur on torture, and Morris Tidball-Binz, special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, are independent experts appointed by the U.N. Human Rights Council but do not speak on behalf of the United Nations.
Both said that a growing body of evidence points to such disturbing, grave acts of “sexual torture (including) rapes and gang rapes, sexual assaults, mutilations and gunshots to genital areas."
The experts pointed to evidence of individuals burned alive and bodies found decapitated, mutilated or with trauma consistent with executions.
“Each and every victim deserves to be recognized, regardless of their ethnicity, religion or sex, and our role is to be their voice,” they added.
Israel has previously criticized the U.N. for not doing enough to address such acts of violence that occurred during Hamas’ terror attack, which triggered the war raging in Gaza and resulted in about 1,140 deaths in Israel, according to an Agence France-Presse tally based on official Israeli figures.
Hamas, considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union, also took around 250 hostages, 132 of whom remain captive, Israel says. At least 24 are believed to have been killed.
Israel has responded with relentless bombardment of the Gaza Strip and a ground invasion that has killed more than 23,000 people, most of them women and children, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
Some material for this report came from Reuters and The Associated Press. (VP/VOA)