UN Presses for Accountability in Israeli Soldier Strip-Search of Palestinian Women

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The United Nations has called for a thorough investigation into the forced strip-search of five Palestinian women by Israeli occupation forces during a recent raid on an apartment building in Hebron, in the occupied West Bank.

The incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of July 10, involved a group of 25-30 Israeli soldiers, some of whom were reportedly wearing masks. The occupation forces entered three adjoining apartments that belong to the extended Ajlouni family in the southern part of Hebron.

According to a detailed report by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and the Haaretz newspaper, the soldiers, including two female personnel armed with rifles and an attack dog, ordered the five women, aged between 24 and 53, to undress. They threatened to unleash the dog if the women did not comply with their orders. The women were then subjected to humiliating strip-searches in front of each other and male soldiers, who also took photographs and videos during the ordeal.

One of the victims, whose identity remains protected, was quoted in the report as saying, “I felt like I was being raped. I was so scared and humiliated. I felt like I had no dignity left.” The Israeli occupation forces further ransacked the apartments, causing damage to furniture, and confiscated phones and laptops. Shockingly, no arrests were made, and the soldiers failed to provide any explanation for their actions.

UN deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq expressed deep concern over the incident, stating, “We would stand against any form of collective punishment. This reported incident needs to be looked at, investigated thoroughly.” He reiterated the UN’s call for an end to the Israeli occupation of Palestine and the necessity of respecting human rights and international law.

Both B’Tselem and Haaretz confirmed that they had attempted to contact the Israeli military for comment regarding the incident but had received no response. The Israeli military has consistently denied allegations of misconduct and abuse by its soldiers against Palestinians in the past.

The dreaded incident has ignited widespread condemnation from human rights organizations and governments worldwide. Many have called for a swift and impartial investigation into the matter, emphasizing the importance of upholding the principles of human dignity, respect for individual rights, and international law.

As this troubling incident continues to draw global attention, the international community anxiously awaits the results of the proposed investigation, with hopes for justice and accountability for the Palestinian victims and their families.

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