Preliminary report details disturbing Hamas sexual violence on Oct. 7: An ‘apocalypse of bodies’

Release of a preliminary report on the atrocities committed in Israel detailed the extent of the brutality likened to an “apocalypse of bodies” wrought by Hamas.

Between putting an end to further acts of evil from the terrorist perpetrators and efforts to rescue hostages taken during the massacre on Oct. 7, far less attention has been garnered to the specific acts of violence that took place.

Now, little more than four months after hundreds were slaughtered and countless others were harmed by the invading Islamic extremists, The Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel (ARCCI) released a report compiling witness testimony, video and forensic evidence to make clear “sexual abuse was not an isolated incident of sporadic cases but rather a clear operational strategy.”

The details of the report are incredibly graphic, so reader discretion is advised.

The nearly 40-page report on the “Sexual Crimes in the October 7 War,” dubbed “Silent Cry,” does not gloss over the horrific details of acts committed at the Tribe of Nova festival, in the villages, on Israel Defense Force (IDF) bases and then when hostages were taken into captivity, and emphasized the patterns of “Systemic Use of Brutal Violence to Commit Rape,” “Rape in the Presence of Family/Community Members,” “Mutilation and Destruction of Genital Organs” and “Insertion of Weapons in Intimate Areas” seen throughout southern Israel.

“Hamas’s attack included violent acts of rape, accompanied by threats with weapons, and in some cases targeted towards injured women. Many of the rapes were carried out as a group, with the participation of violent terrorists,” the report explained. “Often, the rape was perpetrated in front of an audience — partners, family, or friends — in a manner intended to increase the pain and humiliation of all present. Hamas terrorists hunted young women and men who fled the Nova festival, and according to testimonies, dragged them by their hair amid screams.”

“The actions targeted women, girls, and men. In most cases, the victims were killed after or even during the rape,” it stated.

“A series of testimonies, interview, and additional sources attest that Hamas terrorists employed sadistic practices aimed at intensifying the degree of humiliation and terror inherent in sexual violence. Many of the bodies of sexual crime victims were found bound and shackled,” continued the report. “The genitals of both women and men were brutally mutilated, and sometimes weapons were inserted into them.”

“The terrorists did not stop at shooting; they also cut and mutilated sexual organs and other body parts with knives,” researchers found as other incidents described genital being shot off or grenades being inserted into victims.

In a society so fervently impassioned by the #MeToo movement, ARCCI executive director Orit Sulitzeanu criticized the “incomprehensible silence” that has resonated in the wake of Oct. 7 as the report aimed to serve “as initial evidence of systematic and widespread sexual crimes.”

“One survivor who wandered the area after the massacre described it as an ‘apocalypse of bodies, girls without clothes, some missing their upper, some their lower parts,'” details of the accounts at the festival described. Another testimony described “many bodies arriving partially clothed or unclothed, heavy bleeding from the pelvic area, and mutilation of genital organs.”

“In one instance,” a survivor detailed how, “she saw a young woman with a back injury, her pants pulled down below her knees, being pulled by one terrorist from her hair while another terrorist was penetrating her. Each time the woman resisted, the terrorist stabbed her in the back. In another case, she saw how while one terrorist was raping a woman, another was cutting her and mutilating her body.”

Another testified how they heard a victim shouting, “‘Stop it — already I’m going to die anyway from what you are doing, just kill me!’ When they finished they were laughing and the last one shot her in the head.”

Similar accounts were detailed in the bedrooms and barracks in homes and on bases, where victims were left bound and mutilated with organs removed, as well as by hostages as one victim held captive by the terrorist for more than 50 days recalled both men and women were turned into “puppets on a string” by their captors.

ARCCI established the “Lilach Project: Access to Justice for the Victims of October 7,” named for Lilach Kipnis, “a social worker and volunteer at the Negev Rape Crisis Center…who was murdered with her family on that fateful Black Saturday,” in the wake of the terror attack to ensure the rights of new and existing victims as they strove to gather all the details.

Particular note was made to the challenge of garnering survivor testimony, especially from men, as a result of “compounded shame” from humiliation and considering it “an attack on masculinity.”

Referring to those who would disregard or deny the testimony of victims, the report asserted, “Those who choose to remain silent, silence others, or deny the sexual crimes committed by Hamas will be remembered accordingly.”

Kevin Haggerty


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