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How Israel Is Promoting Sexual Assault Claims During Operation Al-Aqsa Flood

Misbar's Editorial Team Misbar's Editorial Team
29th February 2024
How Israel Is Promoting Sexual Assault Claims During Operation Al-Aqsa Flood
A scene depicts global indifference to sexual assault claims on October 7 (X)

Israeli and pro-Israel accounts continue to promote claims of Israeli women being raped by Hamas members during the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7, during which Al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, targeted military barracks and Israeli settlements in the Gaza envelope region.

These accounts used scenes, some of which simulate the claim of women being raped, with international institutions supposedly ignoring the subject.

Acting Scenes Claiming Israeli Women Were Raped

Despite the absence of any evidence that proving Israeli claims of Israeli women being targeted for sexual assaults, official Israeli accounts shared acting scenes supposed to simulate women being raped. On the X platform, the Israeli embassy in the U.S. published a video on November 29 depicting an Israeli protest in front of the U.N. headquarters. It claimed the protest aimed to denounce the international community's silence regarding sexual violence on October 7.

The video shows women with their clothes stained in red spots, symbolizing the alleged occurrences of sexual assaults.

Acting Scenes Claiming Israeli Women Were Raped

In the same context, the Israeli Foreign Ministry's Facebook account published an acting scene on November 17. It depicted an Israeli woman attempting to report being raped by a Palestinian from Hamas. The institution she contacted, however, refused to register the case in the scene, citing that "all forms of violence faced by any Israeli are considered as legitimate resistance."

Acting Scenes Claiming Israeli Women Were Raped

Contrary to this, Misbar's research found international and human rights organizations expressing interest in Israeli allegations about cases of sexual assault. In December, UN Women expressed concerns about the reported sexual assaults during the October 7 operation, emphasizing the need for a comprehensive investigation and protection of victims' rights.

In late January, the United Nations announced the visit of the United Nations Special Envoy on Sexual Violence to Israel to collect information about the sexual violence reportedly committed during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

Human Rights Watch stressed the importance of collecting information related to cases of sexual assault for justice and accountability. The International Commission of Inquiry of the Human Rights Council also announced an investigation into reports received regarding sexual violence.

Misbar previously refuted many Israeli and Western claims alleging sexual assaults targeting Israeli women during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood on October 7.

A Kurdish Fighter Was Raped, Not an Israeli Woman

In November, the Israeli "Hamas Massacre" website published a photo of a corpse that it claimed belonged to an Israeli victim after she was raped on October 7. The scene in the photo matched the description of Israeli doctor Kochav Levy, during her participation in an electronic session organized by Harvard Medical School, on November 12, under the title “Unspeakable Terrorism,” about gender-based violence on October 7.

In the context of Levy’s talk about the sex-based crimes discovered by the Israeli authorities, she described a scene that she claimed had been documented, of the body of a young woman, the lower part of which was stripped, her underwear torn off and hanging from one of her legs, adding that the photo was taken at the site of the Nova Music Festival.

Researching the circulating information, American investigative journalist Max Blumenthal was the first to discover the fabrication of this story by the Israeli occupation. He found out that the website called “Hamas Massacre," which was created by Israeli authorities to publish scenes from the Super Nova music festival during the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, published the same photo on November 13, but Blumenthal found out that the picture was old and published on the internet since May 2022 as the bodies of Kurdish fighters, and that it had no link to the Operation Al-Aqsa Flood.

Israel Falsely Claimed a Kurdish Fighter’s Photo Was an Israeli Woman Raped on October 7

Misleading Claim About Two Israeli Female Captives Being Raped by Hamas

In February, Israeli and other accounts supporting Israel also shared information attributed to an anonymous report, indicating that two female captives who were held by Hamas had been sexually assaulted. They claimed that one of them was a 13-year-old captive who had an abortion, and another who had in her body 67 different sperm cells.

Misbar revealed at the time that claim was misleading as no report containing the story of the two alleged assaults was published. No case of pregnancy was reported following the release of Israeli hostages by the Palestinian resistance during the stages of exchange deals between Israel and Hamas in November. No reliable news outlet reported the discovery of 67 different sperm cells in the body of a released hostage or the abortion of another.

It also turned out that the source of the information was a statement by a French activist who later apologized for it.

Two Israeli Female Captives Being Raped by Hamas

In the same context, accounts promoting the Israeli narrative claimed in late November that Israeli hostage Maya Regev had been raped while in the custody of Hamas, and that she would continue her treatment in Paris after doctors in Israel were unable to treat her physically and psychologically, following to medical reports, according to the claim.

Misbar explained, at the time, that the medical reports for the released Israeli prisoner did not mention that she had been sexually assaulted or that she needed treatment in Paris, and according to the Israeli Health Ministry, the prisoner was in a stable health condition.

Maya Regev

Israeli Propaganda

Allegations of sexual assault and rape are considered one of the most prominent narratives that Israel has been promoting since the start of the Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip, and they have been adopted by political figures, without evidence.

U.S. president Joe Biden said during various press briefings that Hamas fighters had raped Israeli women during Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, without any evidence.

Israeli Propaganda

On the other hand, on February 19, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights published a report highlighting the “flagrant human rights violations” to which Palestinian women have been exposed at the hands of members of the Israeli army in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, since October 7, 2023.

The report said that Palestinian women and girls were subjected to arbitrary execution in Gaza, often with their family members, including their children, while a group of United Nations human rights experts expressed deep concerns about other degrading and inhumane practices, such as depriving Palestinian women of sanitary pads, food and medicine, and subjecting them to severe beatings. They were detained in Gaza in cages in the rain and cold without food.

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