Hamas condemns New York Times allegations on sexual violence on 7 October

Ahram Online , Sunday 31 Dec 2023

Hamas condemned on Sunday a misleading report by the New York Times that alleges Hamas fighters carried out rape and sexual violence during the 7 October Al-Aqsa Flood operation, according to member of Hamas political bureau.

Palestinian fighters
File photo: Palestinian fighters crossing into Israel during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.


Hamas condemned the distortion of truth by various Western media outlets, accusing them of amplifying Israeli propaganda and disseminating false allegations against the Palestinians and their resistance.

The peak of bias in a report published by The New York Times, titled "Screams Without Words’: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7," where it made claims of rape and sexual violence purportedly committed by Palestinian resistance fighters during the Al-Aqsa Flood operation on 7 Octobe, Basem Naim, a member of Hamas's political bureau in Gaza said in a statement.

Hamas denies such allegations and considers them Israeli attempts to demonize and dehumanize the Palestinian people and justify Israeli army's war crimes commited against the Palestinians in Gaza, Naim said.

Naim criticized the New York Times report for relying solely on Israeli sources aligned with the state's narrative, failing to provide conclusive evidence to support the claims.

He pointed out that the testimonies used lacked substantial proof and contradicted the accounts of Israeli women who spoke positively about their treatment by Palestinian fighters on social media and to Israeli media outlets.

"The report also narrated claims from women who said they heard other women repeating these allegations. All what was mentioned of testimonies don't indicate conclusive evidence of one Palestinian fighter committing such shameful acts."

"All what was mentioned of testimonies don't indicate conclusive evidence of one Palestinian fighter committing such shameful acts," Naim said, noting that the US daily allegations contradict earlier testimonies by Israeli women on 7 October and Israeli female captives who were released from Gaza, whom all spoke of good treatment from Palestinian fighters.

"Anyone who is engaged in investigating these claims and allegations can easily watch their videos on social media. They (Israeli women) spoke to Israeli media and never mentioned such lies," he added.

"You may all remember the letter written by the Israeli mother to her captors who simply voiced gratitude to them for not making her and her daughter feel in prison."

Naim stressed that if Hamas fighters held such ideas [of sexual violence], they would have abused those held in their captivity, adding that they would never the allegations as they are bound by their religion, values and culture that do not accept or tolerate such "shameful acts."

Hamas fighters had "one mission" on 7 October which was to defend the Palestinian people and to break the unjust siege imposed on Gaza, he said, noting that the duration of the operation would not allow time for such acts and that in a matter of hours, most fighters had withdrawn back to Gaza.

"Such a period could never give time or space to the fighters to think of nothing but their mission which is to crush the enemy's military sites."

Naim added that Hamas on multiple occasions has expressed its readiness to welcome a serious international investigation into such allegations purported by the Israeli side.

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