NBC News has reviewed evidence that suggests dozens of Israeli women were raped, sexually abused or mutilated during the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attacks.
In one photo, a burned body appears to project anguish. In another, a woman lies naked from the waist down, her underwear hanging from her leg. In interviews, first responders haltingly describe finding naked female corpses tied to beds and survivors recount witnessing a gang rape at the music festival.
All of this is part of a mounting body of evidence of the gender-based crimes carried out by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.
Over the last several weeks, NBC News has reviewed five interrogations of captured Hamas fighters, an Arabic-language document that instructed Hamas how to pronounce “Take off your pants” in Hebrew, six images of naked or partially naked deceased female bodies, seven eyewitness accounts of sexual violence including both rape and mutilation, 11 testimonies of first responders, and two accounts from workers in morgues who handled the bodies of women after they were recovered from the massacre.
The evidence, primarily from the Israel Defense Forces and Israeli officials, suggests that dozens of Israeli women were raped or sexually abused or mutilated during the Oct. 7 terrorist attacks. According to first responders, one was mutilated with a pair of scissors and another stabbed with a knife. The genitals of some men who had been killed were mutilated as well.
Israeli officials say that Hamas militants were instructed to systematically carry out sexual violence on women and children. “This was systematic gender-based violence that was so horrific it’s hard for me to find the words,” said Cochav Elkayam-Levy, the chair of a newly created Civil Commission on Oct. 7th Crimes by Hamas Against Women and Children.
More than 1,200 people were killed on Oct. 7 in Israel, the deadliest terrorist attack in the nation’s history.
Hamas has denied its militants committed sexual crimes against women.
Two Israeli investigators cautioned against the use of precise numbers of rape victims at this stage. They told NBC News that evidence continues to come in and that the investigation is likely to go on for months.