Middle East

US 'strongly' urges Israel to investigate reports of violations against Palestinian women

State Department spokesman says 'cannot independently confirm' UN experts' allegations of sexual assault against Palestinian women

Rabia İclal Turan  | 20.02.2024 - Update : 25.02.2024
US 'strongly' urges Israel to investigate reports of violations against Palestinian women Gaza City, Tel al-Hawa neighborhood, Gaza on October 16, 2023


The US on Tuesday "strongly" urged Israel to "thoroughly and transparently investigate credible allegations" of human rights violations against Palestinian women and girls in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

When asked by Anadolu about the allegations by the UN experts from the UN Human Rights Office, State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said he has seen the allegations but cannot "independently confirm the reports."

"I will say that we have been clear that civilians and detained individuals must be treated humanely and in accordance with international humanitarian law," he said. "And that will continue to be our position," he added.

When pressed by another reporter on whether the US ever had any "independent" confirmation of Hamas' alleged rape and sexual violence against Israelis on Oct. 7 attack, Miller responded by saying that "Israeli medical experts who have testified to that, something we consider credible." 

Miller was later asked by the reporter whose words the US is willing to take if not the UN experts regarding the allegations against Palestinian women. He responded: "A credible medical expert that can testify to, it would be something we would look at of course."

UN experts expressed alarm Monday about "credible allegations" of egregious human rights violations that Palestinian women and girls continue to face in Gaza and the West Bank.​​​​​​​

The experts said that they were shocked by reports of the deliberate targeting and extrajudicial killing of Palestinian women and children in places where they sought refuge or while fleeing.

"On at least one occasion, Palestinian women detained in Gaza were allegedly kept in a cage in the rain and cold, without food," said experts.

They said at least two female Palestinian detainees were reportedly raped, while others were allegedly threatened with rape and sexual violence.

Israel accused Hamas of rape and sexual violence against Israelis during the Oct. 7 attack. When asked by Israeli allegations in a press briefing on Dec. 4, Miller said they have "no reason at all to doubt those reports." President Joe Biden called the reports of women allegedly sexually assaulted by Hamas "appalling."

Anadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.