steampunk heart

US says UN must provide evidence after alleging IDF sexual crimes

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights recently urged an inquiry into what it says are “believable claims of human rights abuses” against Palestinian women and girls in Gaza and the West Bank, alleging involvement of IDF soldiers in “rape and sexual violence”, among other offenses, though it has not presented any specific incidents or provided definitive proof.

  • In response to the UN allegations, Matthew Miller, a U.S. State Department spokesperson, told reporters on Wednesday evening that the department has reached out to the U.N. for additional details on the allegations and also to the Israeli government, encouraging the opening of an investigation. He acknowledged that the UN has not provided Israel with information about any specific incidents or definitive proof that such actions occurred, but that the department is still advocating for an investigation.
  • UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, on Tuesday leveled accusations that IDF soldiers participated in exceptional detentions, degrading treatment, and even rape and sexual violence. These claims, though not supported by concrete evidence, alluded to arrests under humiliating conditions that were filmed and shared online by Israeli soldiers.

The IDF dismissed these charges, maintaining that Israel’s military follows international law. “Without precise details or proof of individual cases it is not possible for us to examine them in depth,” the IDF said in a statement provided to CNN. The Israeli delegation to the UN in Geneva also repudiated the allegations calling them “despicable and unfounded claims.”

Also on Wednesday, in a letter addressed to the soldiers in Gaza, the IDF Chief Military Advocate Maj. Gen. Yifat Tomer-Yerushalmi warned IDF commanders against “events that cross the criminal threshold” during warfare. The letter, obtained by Ynet, contained her commendation of the commanders and soldiers who “act with courage and deep devotion to maintain the security of the state, to return the hostages and to win the war.”

“Unlike our enemies, who fight while exploiting the law and violating it, we fight according to the law,” she also wrote.

Tomer-Yerushalmi underscored that, up to this point, “the use of force is generally carried out in a professional and legal manner,” however, “we have encountered cases of unacceptable conduct that deviate from IDF values and protocols.”

She highlighted instances of “inappropriate statements that encourage unacceptable phenomena; unjustified use of force, including against detainees; looting, which include the use or removal of private property for non-operational purposes; and destruction of civilian property contrary to protocols.”

  • “Some incidents go beyond the disciplinary domain, and cross the criminal threshold,” she said.
  • She emphasized that: “These acts and statements, on the part of individuals who do not represent the collective, are contrary to the IDF as a professional, moral, and dignified army, and they have no place in the IDF. They also cause the State of Israel and the IDF strategic damage in the international arena, the seriousness of which is difficult to overstate.”

Source: Ynet News