European Union flags fly outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, April 10, 2019.

EU Hits Hamas With Sanctions Over Sexual Violence In October 7 Attack

Friday, 04/12/2024

The European Union is imposing sanctions against three Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad entities, over “widespread sexual and gender-based violence” that occurred across Israel on October 7.

“The Council decided today to list three entities under the EU Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime in view of their responsibilities in the brutal and indiscriminate terrorist attacks that occurred across Israel on 7 October 2023,” a press release read.

The sanctions target the Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, the Nukhba Force (special forces unit of Hamas) and the Qassam Brigades (military wing of Hamas).

Israel’s Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, took to X to laud the decision, saying it “sends a clear message: those who murder, rape, burn, abuse the bodies of babies, girls, women, and men, and commit atrocities against humanity -- will pay the price.”

Individuals and entities listed under the sanctions regime face an asset freeze, meaning their financial assets are blocked. Providing them with funds or economic resources, either directly or indirectly, is prohibited. Persons listed are also banned from traveling to the EU.

The EU had already classified Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad as terrorist entities.

Last month, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict reported that she and a team of experts found “clear and convincing information” of rape and sexualized torture being committed against hostages seized during the 7 October terror attacks.

Pramila Patten said that in addition there are also reasonable grounds to believe that such violence, which includes other “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment”, may be continuing against hostages still being held by Hamas and other extremists in the Gaza Strip.

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