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Hamas leader refutes NYT report on sexual violence during October 7 Al-Aqsa Flood operation

– Abdul Bari Masoud

New Delhi, Jan. 2: Strongly refuting the allegations made in the New York Times report titled, “Screams Without Words: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7”, Hamas political bureau member, Dr. Basem Naim, said it was a misleading report only based on Israeli public servants who only speak what goes in line with the Israeli propaganda and Israeli attempt to dehumanize the Palestinian people. He asked the Times to revise its misleading report, to distance itself from Israeli propaganda, to preserve its professionalism and reputation, and to add that Hamas is ready for any international investigation.

“We regret to say that most of the western countries’ media and press agencies have exceeded the idea of being biased to what the Israeli propaganda says to a new level of spreading lies and slanders against the Palestinians and their resistance,” the Hamas leader said.

The NYT report published on December 28 was filed by one of its editors, Justin Porter. It says, “A two-month investigation by The New York Times has uncovered painful new details about a pattern of rape, mutilation, and extreme brutality used against Israeli women during the attacks by Hamas in early October. Sexual attacks against women were not isolated events but part of a broader pattern of gender-based violence.

“Relying on video footage, photographs, GPS data from mobile phones, and interviews with more than 150 people, including witnesses, medical personnel, soldiers, and rape counselors, The Times identified at least seven locations where Israeli women and girls appeared to have been sexually assaulted or mutilated.”

Dr. Naim said the NYT allegations contradict the very testimonies that Israeli women themselves said of the good treatment they had experienced from the Palestinian fighters on October 7. 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.

Moreover, all Israeli female captives who were released from Gaza could only say how good treatment they had received and the fighters’ keenness to provide them with all they needed despite the difficult situation in Gaza. It is enough to mention what they said – that they and their captors were eating the same food, he added.

He also mentioned 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.

If the Hamas resistance fighters held such ideas of sex violence, they would have mistreated those who were in their captivity, but on the contrary freedom fighters never commit such allegations as their religion, values, and culture forbid such acts, he emphasized.

“Our resistance members are fighters for freedom and dignity; they would never commit such shameful acts. Our religion, values, culture, and societal norms don’t accept these acts and even don’t tolerate them. We mention that there was not a single “rape case” filed in Palestinian courts in Gaza against any citizen,” he added.

The Palestinian fighters during the October 7 Al-Aqsa Flood operation were busy on one mission, which was to defend the Palestinian people and break the unjust siege imposed on Gaza by fighting the Gaza Division of the Israeli army. They successfully performed this mission in a glorious and honorable way.

Furthermore, the duration of the operation was very short; it was a matter of a few hours, and most of the fighters had withdrawn from the Israeli sites back to Gaza to take their positions to defend our people and land. 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.

He also pointed out that the NYT report also purposefully failed to mention the Israeli reports that said the Israeli army committed what can be described as crimes by bombing Israelis and Palestinian fighters and killing many of them.

“The newspaper chose to follow the Israeli propaganda, as it failed to bring the many testimonies of harassment cases against Palestinian female detainees in Israeli jails. The newspaper ignored the call by prominent Israeli rabbis who allowed Israeli soldiers to rape non-Jewish women during times of war, in reference to Palestinian women.”

We categorically deny such allegations in many previous statements and consider them part of the Israeli attempt to demonize and dehumanize the Palestinian people and resistance and to justify the Israeli army war crimes and crimes of genocide against the Palestinian people, he added.

The Polit Bureau member, Dr. Naim, said Hamas on various occasions stated that it was ready to welcome any international inquiry mission to look into any allegations, contrary to the Israeli side, who only spread their unproven lies without having any crucial evidence.

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