Guardian reports ‘systematic use of rape by Hamas’ – and why I don’t believe it

Admitting rape: but is this a member of Hamas? No – it’s a former member of the Israel Defence Force, where sexual violence appears to be part of the culture.

The Guardian has published a piece claiming that members of Hamas committed rape and sexual violence during the October 7 attacks on Israel that is, on the face of it, horrifying.

Reporter Bethan McKernan – in Jerusalem – says the paper has been made aware of sexual assaults for which multiple corroborating pieces of evidence exist:

By cross-referencing testimonies given to police, published interviews with witnesses, and photo and video footage taken by survivors and first responders, the Guardian is aware of at least six sexual assaults for which multiple corroborating pieces of evidence exist. Two of those victims, who were murdered, were aged under 18.

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At least seven women who were killed were also raped in the attack, according to Prof Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, a legal scholar and international women’s rights advocate, from her examination of evidence so far. The New York Times and NBC have both identified more than 30 killed women and girls whose bodies bear signs of abuse, such as bloodied genitals and missing clothes, and according to the Israeli welfare ministry, five women and one man have come forward seeking help for sexual abuse over the past few months.

Rape and sexual assault are considered war crimes and a breach of international humanitarian law. Hamas has denied the accusations of sexual violence.

It is entirely possible that some criminal opportunists in Hamas or the other groups that broke out with it on October 7 committed heinous crimes against women.

But I find the evidence being presented hard to believe for two reasons.

First, we are told that the emergency services who dealt with the dead did not consider sexual violence at the appropriate time:

Emergency responders risked their lives in the fighting on 7 October and several days afterwards to rescue the wounded and retrieve the dead. The chaos meant there were significant failings in preserving evidence of gender-based violence and what is coming to be seen as the systematic use of rape as a weapon of war by Hamas.

In the immediate aftermath of the attack, overwhelmed by the sheer number of victims, and the burned or disfigured state of some of the bodies, morgues were preoccupied with identification and did not have the time or capacity to test for sexual assault using rape kits, said the police spokesperson Mirit Ben Mayor. Lack of trained personnel was also a problem: according to the Israeli daily Haaretz, there are only seven forensic pathologists in the entire country.

Secondly, all of the eyewitness evidence – as far as This Writer can tell – comes via the Israeli authorities that have been desperate to accuse Hamas of widespread rape and sexual violence since the October 7 attacks took place – as if that can justify their killing of around 25,000 innocent Gazans, including 10,000 children, in response.

In fact, Israel released an enormous mass of propaganda after October 7 – most, if not all, of which was proved to be a pack of lies, as documented on This Site.

That alone makes any new evidence coming from that country and anyone connected with its government, military or other authorities, highly suspicious – especially after more than three months.

Coupled with that must be the fact that the Israeli Defence Forces have been repeatedly accused of rape themselves:

The immediately preceding clip stated that sex crimes against women in the Israeli armed forces were not adequately handled. Following up on that:

The list goes on and on.

Nothing that is said above should be considered to be supporting/condoning rape and sexual violence – of any kind.

It is entirely possible that members of Hamas and the other groups who carried out the October 7 attacks committed sexual crimes as part of them.

But by reeling out false accusations time and time again, the Israeli government and its spokespeople have made it almost impossible to believe the current accusations.

I’m not the only one who thinks this:

And the recorded conduct of the IDF makes this a classic situation of people in the proverbial glass house, throwing stones.

Put it all together and it should be easy to understand why I do not believe the latest claims.

Source: Evidence points to systematic use of rape and sexual violence by Hamas in 7 October attacks | Israel-Gaza war | The Guardian

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  1. Julia January 20, 2024 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I was quite shocked to read this latest piece in The Guardian, as I thought Israel’s claims regarding mass rape and torture by Hamas had been comprehensively disproven. Very sadly sexual violence is common in any conflict and we cannot say there was no rape by Hamas against Israelis, but the ‘evidence’ provided by Israel has been absolutely ludicrous, and constantly changed. Unfortunately, so many people look no further than the end of their noses and accept it all without digging any deeper…

  2. James January 20, 2024 at 6:22 pm - Reply

    You (and your other subscribers) may be interested in reading Jonathan Cook’s detailed rebuttal of this Israeli propaganda as promulgated by the Guardian. The Guardian has declined so far from what it used to be, joining the vast majority of the so called ‘Free Press’ and other media in the gutter.
    Jonathan Cook: Why the Guardian’s ‘Hamas mass rape’ story doesn’t pass the sniff test; How is it that journalists are not pausing to question the outrageous improbability of so many of the evidence-poor rape stories being advanced?

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