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UN Mission Confirms Hamas Sexual Violence After 5 Months, Israel Hit by Hezbollah Rocket Barrage

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JERUSALEM, Israel – For the first time in nearly five months, a United Nations mission is recognizing Israel's claims of Hamas brutality toward Israeli women and men on October 7th. Meanwhile, the Iranian-backed Hezbollah unleashed more rockets on northern Israel from southern Lebanon.

Israel's Foreign Ministry welcomed the U.N. report issued by the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict, acknowledging that Hamas and other terrorist organizations committed sexual crimes in the attack last October.

Posting on X, the mission stated, "The UN also recognizes that the crimes were committed simultaneously in different locations and point to a pattern of rape, torture and sexual abuse. The report also acknowledges the existence of ongoing sexual crimes against the Israeli women and men being held hostage by Hamas and calls for the immediate release of the hostages."

Israeli U.N. Ambassador Gilad Erdan called on the Secretary-General and Security Council to join the mission in condemning Hamas.

He had earlier challenged the international body, saying, "In the future, you won’t be able to claim that you didn’t know, just as the world claimed after the Holocaust that you were not exposed to the suffering and horrors. Those who remain indifferent are complicit in the crimes themselves."

Erdan held up a tablet and played testimonies of women brutalized by Hamas, charging the U.N. with apathy and indifference.

A spokesperson for one freed hostage on the tablet was telling of her ordeal, saying, "And she went into the shower and while she was there one of the terrorists went inside, took his clothes off, with a gun towards her head told her to do everything he wanted."

The IDF also declassified a call it intercepted from a Hamas terrorist, who is also a UNWRA-employee, and U.N. elementary school teacher.

IDF Spokesperson Daniel Hagari explained, "The terrorist is heard speaking on the phone roughly seven hours after Hamas began invading Israel, murdering, mutilating, massacring, kidnapping, raping and burning entire families alive. On the call, you can hear him bragging about Sabaya. Sabaya is a female captive that he got on his hands."

In the video of the alleged recorded conversation between the teacher, Yusef Zidan Suleiman Al Hawajara, and an unknown speaker, Al Hawajara asks, "Where are you?"

The speaker replies, "Where the female captives (Sabaya) are; everything’s a mess. You and Abu Hassan aren’t doing anything. Stay like that.”

Al Hawajara responds, ”Shut up, we have female captives (Sabaya). I caught one."

After playing the video, Hagari declared, "I'm a father of two girls. When I hear this conversation, I tremble. It's horrific."

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Gantz in Washington Without Netanyahu Approval

In the U.S., the State Department defended its meeting with war cabinet minister Benny Gantz who was invited to Washington without the authorization of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Spokesman Matthew Miller stated, "He (Gantz) has a critical voice in the delivery of humanitarian assistance. He's an important figure in the sitting government of Israel. And so that's why we engage with him."

Miller added, "Our goal is clear to establish a comprehensive aid strategy that includes air, land, and sea routes to maximize the flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza and ensure that aid is distributed to everyone in Gaza who needs it."

Hezbollah Rocket Attacks

In northern Israel, the Hezbollah rocket barrage against border communities Tuesday prompted Israeli fighter jets to strike terror targets inside Lebanon.

A  U.S. envoy met with Lebanese officials to discuss a diplomatic solution for the Israel-Hezbollah conflict.

Amos Hochstein, a senior advisor to President Joe Biden, noted, "There is a deal on the table and I hope that the parties accept it, but it does not necessarily happen that when you have a ceasefire in Gaza it just automatically extends. That is why we're here today to be able to have a conversation and discussion on what kind of arrangements could be reached here in Lebanon."

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and