February 24, 2024

The UN Commission of Inquiry into war crimes in the Israel-Hamas conflict will focus on sexual violence by Hamas in the October 7 attacks on Israel. They are about to launch an appeal for evidence and will pass it on to the International Criminal Court for potential prosecutions. Chair Navi Pillay said some people are interested in providing testimonies. However, Israel has not cooperated with the commission, and Hamas has denied the abuses. Evidence of rape as a tool of war includes testimonies from first responders and military reservists. The commission has an unusually broad mandate to collect evidence and identify perpetrators of international crimes and will release a public “call for submissions” for evidence on Hamas’ sexual violence. The commission aims to collaborate with the International Criminal Court in sharing evidence. They are also requesting US and Egyptian help in convincing Israel to grant access to investigate. Israel’s bombing of Gaza and the killing of reporters during the conflict are also being investigated.