UN experts call for investigation into Israeli human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls
02/22/2024 // Laura Harris // Views

A group of experts with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called for an urgent investigation into "credible reports" of Israel committing grave human rights violations against women and children in the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

According to the reports, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) allegedly subjected Palestinian women and girls who have been seeking refuge and fleeing conflict zones to arbitrary detention, extrajudicial killings, sexual assault and other degrading treatment.

In an official statement on Feb. 20, UN experts – including Reem Alsalem, special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, and Francesca Albanese, special rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 – revealed the alleged arbitrary detention of hundreds of Palestinian women and girls, including human rights defenders, journalists and humanitarian workers, since Oct. 7.

"We are shocked by reports of the deliberate targeting and extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women and children in places where they sought refuge, or while fleeing. Some of them were reportedly holding white pieces of cloth when they were killed by the Israeli army or affiliated forces," the experts said.

"We are particularly distressed by reports that Palestinian women and girls in detention have also been subjected to multiple forms of sexual assault, such as being stripped naked and searched by male Israeli army officers. At least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped, while others were reportedly threatened with rape and sexual violence."

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Detainees have faced inhuman and degrading treatment, denial of basic necessities such as menstruation pads, food, and medicine, and severe beatings. Palestinian women and girls were also sexually assaulted and raped, while images of humiliation were uploaded online.

Moreover, the experts revealed disturbing reports that Palestinian women and children, including girls, have gone missing after contact with the IDF in Gaza.

"There are disturbing reports of at least one female infant forcibly transferred by the Israeli army into Israel and of children being separated from their parents, whose whereabouts remain unknown," they said.

The UN experts called on the government of Israel to uphold the rights of Palestinian women and girls, urging it to cooperate with an independent, impartial, prompt, thorough and effective investigation into the allegations.

"We remind the Government of Israel of its obligation to uphold the right to life, safety, health, and dignity of Palestinian women and girls and to ensure that no one is subjected to violence, torture, ill-treatment or degrading treatment, including sexual violence. Taken together, these alleged acts may constitute grave violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, and amount to serious crimes under international criminal law that could be prosecuted under the Rome Statute. Those responsible for these apparent crimes must be held accountable and victims and their families are entitled to full redress and justice," the group said.

IDF denies UN allegations of human rights violations

The IDF promptly denied the accusations in a statement, claiming that it is not possible to examine the accusations in depth "without precise details or proof of individual cases."

Israel's mission to the UN in Geneva likewise rejected the claims, labeling them "despicable and unfounded." They pointed out that no complaints of abuse had been received but emphasized Israel's readiness to investigate credible allegations with evidence.

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office pointed to the official Israeli statement when asked to respond to the call for an independent investigation into the allegations.

Meanwhile, the Hamas militant group responded to the UN statement, claiming that it serves as evidence of Israel committing genocide in Gaza. The group insisted that these findings should be part of the case against Israel at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

"The statement issued by a group of UN experts, which documented the blatant human rights violations to which Palestinian women and girls are specifically subjected in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, is confirmation and additional evidence of the crime of genocide and ethnic cleansing committed by the occupation," the group said on Telegram.

Follow IsraelCollapse.com for more news about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Watch the video below to learn more on the Gaza humanitarian crisis.

This video is from the Cynthia's Pursuit of Truth channel on Brighteon.com.

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