• Israeli police struggle to verify rape accounts attributed to Palestinian fighters on October 7, according to a Haaretz report.
• The report, centred on Gal Abdush, faces contradiction from some of her family members, who dispute claims of rape and accuse reporters of manipulation.
Israeli police face challenges verifying accounts of rape reportedly committed by Palestinian fighters on October 7, as highlighted in a Haaretz report on January 4:
“THE POLICE ARE HAVING DIFFICULTY LOCATING VICTIMS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT FROM THE HAMAS ATTACK, OR PEOPLE WHO WITNESSED SUCH ATTACKS.”
Even in the few cases in which testimonies were collected about sexual offences committed on October 7, police failed to connect the acts with the victims who were harmed by them.”
Adi Edri, a police investigator assigned to examine alleged sexual crimes during the Al-Aqsa Flood operation, informed Haaretz that there are “circumstantial indications” suggesting survivors of the October 7 attack that the police haven’t contacted yet. “We’re looking for more than a single witness. For each scene, we’re looking for support for what happened there.”
Israeli police are urging the public to share any evidence of sexual-based violence committed by Hamas and other Gaza groups.
This call follows The New York Times’ investigative report detailing alleged sexual assault and rape patterns by Palestinian fighters on October 7 during an attack on southern Israel.
The narrative in The New York Times predominantly focuses on Gal Abdush, identified as “the woman in the black dress” in a video allegedly showing evidence of rape. However, Mondweiss stated how some members of Abdush’s family had contradicted the claims, asserting that they were uncertain regarding whether she had been raped. In addition, they accused the reporters of manipulation.
In November, Haaretz reported that the scarcity of forensic evidence poses challenges for investigators in comprehending the events of October 7.