Systematic Sexual Violence by Israeli Forces Revealed

As Israel’s claims of a premeditated Hamas mass rape campaign falter, shocking new revelations point to widespread sexual violence by Israeli forces.

As Israel’s assertions of a premeditated Hamas mass rape campaign on October 7 unravel, new horrifying evidence of mass sexual violence and rape against Palestinians committed by the Israeli military is emerging.

A recent article in The Times of London, along with UN reports and investigative journalism in independent media, has been undermining Israel’s allegations of an ordered mass rape campaign on October 7. Meanwhile, evidence of mass sexual violence against Palestinians continues to mount.

As early as December of last year, allegations emerged that female Palestinian prisoners were being raped in Israeli jails after women released in a prisoner exchange testified to the media. Additionally, in a series of testimonies collected by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, released female Palestinian detainees stated that Israeli forces threatened to rape them like Hamas raped Israeli women. This demonstrates that the October 7 rape stories spread by corporate media directly motivated rape threats against Palestinian women.

Back in February, a UN panel of experts sounded the alarm over evidence produced by the United Nations of two cases of rape committed against Palestinian women, in addition to various threats of rape and instances of sexual harassment. Despite this, Western politicians who had spoken out with indignation about the October 7 allegations showed little interest in the issue.

In March, horror stories of sexual abuse in Gaza emerged, including a case reported by Canadian volunteer physicians of a woman being raped for two days, leaving her unable to speak from the trauma.

At the Sde Teiman detention camp, where Palestinians are held without charges after being taken from Gaza, a recent exposé in The New York Times revealed instances of Palestinians being raped with burning metal rods. This aligns with a UNRWA report detailing similar acts of sexualized torture, including a case where a man was raped with a burning metal rod and left to die slowly.

Women were not spared from sexual violence at Sde Teiman either. A 34-year-old woman testified, “A male soldier took off our hijabs, and they pinched us and touched our bodies, including our breasts.” She also stated that she was spat on and beaten and that pepper was smeared on her and other women’s genitals.

Additionally, in an independent investigative report released on June 12, a UN-mandated inquiry concluded that mass sexual abuse carried out by Israeli military personnel was “either ordered or condoned,” implicating Israel’s chain of command. The report found that Israeli forces “systematically targeted and subjected Palestinians to SGBV [Sexual and Gender-Based Violence] online and in person since October 7, including forced public nudity, forced public stripping, sexualized torture and abuse, and sexual humiliation and harassment.”

However, sexual violence against Palestinians didn’t begin on October 7; it dates back to the creation of the State of Israel. In the 2022 documentary “Tantura,” former Zionist militia members admitted on film to various instances of raping Palestinian women in 1948. The elderly Israelis recounted these cases while smiling and laughing.

During the Second Intifada in 2002, Israeli occupation soldiers took control of Palestinian TV networks in Ramallah to broadcast pornography on several channels. Given the socially conservative nature of Palestinian society, this act was clearly intended to humiliate. This trend continues today, with the Israeli army admitting to running snuff film Telegram channels.

Israeli soldiers frequently release videos of themselves rummaging through the underwear drawers of Palestinian women after raiding their homes in Gaza. Additionally, to humiliate these women, soldiers have posted videos on social media of themselves wearing lingerie they seized while insulting the women to whom it belonged.

The scale of rape and sexual abuse against Palestinians during this conflict is staggering, yet it has not garnered the same level of international outcry as the October 7 allegations. Despite mounting evidence of systematic abuse by Israeli soldiers, influential figures like Hillary Clinton have remained notably silent, raising questions about the lack of high-profile advocacy for justice and condemnation on the global stage.

The revelation that debunked allegations of a mass rape campaign on October 7 may have fueled actual instances of sexual violence by Israeli soldiers raises questions about the accountability of those who propagated these narratives. Western officials and corporate media, in repeating these now-discredited stories, may face scrutiny over their role in potentially contributing to documented cases of sexual violence against Palestinians.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and hosts the show ‘Palestine Files’. Director of ‘Steal of the Century: Trump’s Palestine-Israel Catastrophe’. Follow him on Twitter @falasteen47