UN Women statement on the situation in Israel and Gaza

We deeply regret that military operations have resumed in Gaza, and we reiterate that all women, Israeli women, Palestinian women, as all others, are entitled to a life lived in safety and free from violence.

We unequivocally condemn the brutal attacks by Hamas on Israel on 7 October. We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks. This is why we have called for all accounts of gender-based violence to be duly investigated and prosecuted, with the rights of the victim at the core.

In all conflicts, UN women fully supports rigorous investigations and Commissions of Inquiry where they exist. We are actively supporting the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem, and Israel, which began its investigation into sexual violence very shortly after the attacks occurred. We welcome that the Commission has opened its call for submissions on gender-based crimes since 7 October. 

We also welcome that the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Pramila Patten has activated the UN Action network, of which we are a member, to proactively share UN-sourced and verified information on incidents, patterns, and trends of conflict-related sexual violence to aid all investigations.

We continue to call for accountability for all acts of gender-based violence committed on and after 7 October, the immediate and unconditional release of all remaining hostages, and a humanitarian ceasefire.

For the sake of everyone in the Occupied Palestinian Territory and Israel, and especially women and children, we call for a return to a path of peace, a respect for international humanitarian and international human rights law, and an end to the suffering of people in Gaza and in Israel, and those families still waiting for their loved ones to return.