EU imposes sanctions on Hamas over sexual violence in October 7 attack

The European Union has sanctioned the military wings and special forces of Hamas and the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad for their responsibility for widespread sexual and gender-based violence in the October 7 attack on Israel. EU member states said the Qassam and Quds Brigades and the Nuhba Force are now subject to asset freezes and a travel ban within the Union. Funding them directly or indirectly is also now prohibited. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have already been designated as terrorist organizations by the EU, but this intervention requires further tightening and also has important symbolic value.

A United Nations report released on March 4 revealed evidence of sexual violence at multiple locations during the October 7 attack by Hamas militants against Israelis. According to the statements collected, it is stated that some hostages held in the Gaza Strip were also subjected to rape and sexual torture, and this situation may still continue. Israeli foreign minister Israel Katz said the EU’s decision “sends a clear message: Those who kill, burn, rape and abuse children, girls, women and men are committing atrocities against humanity: they will pay the price.”

Israel will be less happy with other soon-to-be-approved sanctions against Hamas, which were given the green light at the European Council in March and concern violent Jewish settlers in the West Bank. With today’s listing, restrictive measures under the EU’s global human rights sanctions regime will now apply to 104 natural and legal persons and 26 organizations from different countries. The assets of persons listed in the sanctions regime are frozen and it is prohibited to provide funds or economic resources directly or indirectly to them or for their interests. In addition, a travel ban to the EU is imposed on natural persons on the list.

Source: Today IT

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