By Nandita Bose

BOSTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden mentioned on Tuesday that Hamas had repeatedly raped ladies and mutilated their our bodies throughout its Oct.7 assault on southern Israel, citing survivors and witnesses of the assaults.

Talking at a political fundraiser in Boston, Biden mentioned accounts of “unimaginable cruelty” had been shared over the previous few weeks.

“Experiences of ladies raped — repeatedly raped — and their our bodies being mutilated whereas nonetheless alive, of ladies’s corpses being desecrated, Hamas terrorists inflicting as a lot ache and struggling on ladies and ladies as attainable after which murdering them. It’s appalling,” Biden mentioned.

The president referred to as on worldwide organizations, civil society and people to sentence sexual violence “with out exception.”

Israeli police are investigating attainable sexual crimes by among the few hundred those who they arrested after the Oct. 7 assault. Israel’s justice ministry has mentioned “victims have been tortured, bodily abused, raped, burned alive, and dismembered.”

Hamas vigorously denies the allegations of sexual assault or mutilation by members of its armed wing on Oct. 7 or after that.

Israel held an occasion on the United Nations in New York on Monday centered on sexual violence in opposition to ladies throughout the Oct. 7 assault. Israel has been essential of the world physique’s response to the assaults.

“As a worldwide group we should reply to weaponized sexual violence, wherever it occurs, with absolute condemnation. There may be no justification and no excuses. Rape as a weapon of struggle is against the law in opposition to humanity,” former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton instructed the occasion in a pre-recorded video.

On Tuesday, Biden blamed Hamas for the collapse of a truce final week that had halted Israel’s retaliatory army marketing campaign in opposition to Gaza, saying the militant group’s “refusal to launch the remaining younger ladies is what broke this deal”.

Israel and Hamas have accused one another of wrecking negotiations to increase the week-long pause in combating, which resumed on Dec. 1.

Since then, Israeli forces have expanded their floor operations on Hamas-run Gaza and stormed its principal southern metropolis. Gaza well being officers say 16,248 individuals have been killed in Israel’s assaults.

Hamas fighters who rampaged by way of Israeli cities on Oct. 7 killed 1,200 individuals and seized 240 hostages, in accordance with Israel’s tally. Greater than 100 hostages have been freed throughout the truce.

In the course of the fundraiser, Biden mentioned: “Everybody nonetheless being held hostage by Hamas have to be returned to their households instantly. We’re not going to cease.”

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Boston and Michelle Nicholas on the UN; Enhancing by Rami Ayyub and Rosalba O’Brien)

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