Jerusalem, November 18: Israeli police have initiated an investigation into cases of rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas terrorists amid the October 7 unprecedented attacks against the Jewish nation. In a statement, Police Superintendent Dudi Katz said officers have collected more than 1,000 statements and over 60,000 video clips related to the attacks that include accounts from people who reported seeing women raped, reports CNN.
He also said that investigators do not have firsthand testimony and it remained unclear whether any rape victims survived the assault. In a separate statement, Police Commissioner Shabtai Yaakov said the probe could potentially lead to prosecutions, but documentation was the primary mission for now.
Document evidence of the atrocities
Cochav Elkayam-Levy, a human rights law expert at Hebrew University, has formed a civil commission with colleagues to document evidence of the atrocities. “We’ll never know everything that has happened to them. We know that most women who were raped and who were sexually assaulted were also murdered,” Elkayam-Levy told CNN on Friday.
The police however, acknowledged that the investigation could take months. As of Saturday morning, the death toll in the Jewish state stood at1,200, including Israelis and foreign nationals, according to authorities.
Names of 1,162 fatalities in Israel have been released
Till date, the names of 1,162 fatalities in Israel have been released, including 859 civilians and police officers. Of those whose ages have been provided, 33 are children. Meanwhile, at least 5,431 people have also been injured in the ensuing violence.
Authorities have said that 237 people are being held captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals. According to some media reports, about 30 of the hostages are children.
Four civilian hostages have been released by Hamas
So far, four civilian hostages have been released by Hamas, one Israeli soldier was rescued by Israeli forces, and three bodies of captives have reportedly been retrieved by Israeli forces.