‘Untrue’ – AP Investigation Debunks Allegations of Sexual Abuse on October 7

An AP investigation debunks false allegations of sexual abuse. (Photo: screen grab)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Three months later, ZAKA acknowledged that Otmazgin’s interpretation was incorrect and that the teenager’s pants had come down at the hands of Israeli soldiers. 

An investigation published by the Associated Press on Wednesday exposed Israeli false and fabricated allegations of sexual violence by Palestinian Resistance fighters during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7, 2023. 

Following the events of October 7, Israel’s standard protocol for such attacks reportedly collapsed “because of the scale of the attack”, according to the report. 

AP examined testimonies from two volunteers from ZAKA,  an Israeli non-governmental ultra-Orthodox organization which was tasked with collecting bodies.

The investigation found that they misled the global public into believing that Hamas fighters sexually assaulted Israeli women on October 7.

‘Interpretation of Sexual Abuse’

AP highlighted the testimony of Chaim Otmazgin, a ZAKA volunteer, whose testimony was based on an “interpretation” of sexual abuse rather than concrete evidence. 

He found the body of an Israeli teenager with her pants pulled down below the waist. Therefore, “he thought that was evidence of sexual violence,” the report noted.

Otmazgin told journalists what he had seen and he even “tearfully recounted the details in a nationally televised appearance in the Israeli Parliament,” according to AP.

“But it turns out that what Otmazgin thought had occurred in the home at the kibbutz hadn’t happened,” the report concluded.

“It’s not that I invented a story,” Otmazgin reportedly told AP in an interview.

“I couldn’t think of any other option (other than the sexual assault – PC). At the end, it turned out to be different, so I corrected myself,” Otmazgin was quoted as saying.

Three months later, ZAKA acknowledged that Otmazgin’s interpretation was incorrect and that the teenager’s pants had come down at the hands of Israeli soldiers. 

“After cross-checking with military contacts, ZAKA found that a group of soldiers had dragged the girl’s body across the room to make sure it wasn’t booby-trapped. During the procedure, her pants had come down,” AP reported.

“Some accounts from that day, like Otmazgin’s, proved untrue,” according to AP.

Only Source

Another testimony came from Yossi Landau, who claimed to have seen a pregnant woman with her fetus still attached but outside her body. 

Landau reportedly called Otmazgin at the scene, but Otmazgin disputed this.

“Instead, he saw the body of a heavy-set woman and an unidentifiable hunk attached to an electric cable. Everything was charred,” the report said.

Nonetheless, Landau “went on to tell the story to journalists and was cited in outlets around the world”, according to AP.

Landau was also the only source who claimed to have seen beheaded children and babies. 

“Landau, along with other first responders, also told journalists he had seen beheaded children and babies,” AP reported, adding:

“No convincing evidence had been publicized to back up that claim, and it was debunked by Haaretz and other major media outlets.”

‘Criticism and Concerns’ – Journalism Professors Urge NYT to Review Controversial Report on Sexual Violence

Video Challenges NYT’s Report

Last March, the New York Times revealed that new video footage challenges the account of an unnamed Israeli military paramedic that the paper interviewed who claimed that two teenagers, killed in the October 7 resistance operation, were sexually assaulted.

The paramedic, from an Israeli commando unit, was interviewed along with dozens of other people for an article that the US paper published on December 28 entitled “‘Screams Without Words’: How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7”.

He had claimed that the bodies of two partially clothed teenage girls in a home in Kibbutz Be’eri “bore signs of sexual violence,” the paper said on Monday.

However, footage taken by an Israeli soldier who was in Be’eri on October 7 “shows the bodies of three female victims, fully clothed and with no apparent signs of sexual violence, at a home where many residents had believed the assaults occurred.”

The paper said that although “it is unclear” if the paramedic was referring to the same scene, residents of the kibbutz, in response to the new footage, reportedly said there was no other home in Be’eri where two teenage girls were killed.

Debunked by Palestine Chronicle – Co-author of of NYT Report on Sexual Assaults Exposed (VIDEO)

“And they concluded from the video that the girls had not been sexually assaulted,” said The New York Times.

It also quoted Nili Bar Sinai, a member of a group from the kibbutz that investigated claims of sexual assault at the house as saying, “this story is false.”

The New York Times also launched an investigation into an Israeli freelancer, Anat Schwartz, one of the original report’s co-authors.

The news emerged last month after a report by Mondoweiss exposed Schwartz’s online record, which was reportedly scrutinized by independent researchers.

Mondoweiss raised doubts about the credibility of the Israeli filmmaker.

Hamas: A Slap in the Face

The Palestinian Resistance Movement Hamas called on world leaders to apologize after AP debunked sexual assault allegations on October 7,

In a statement issued on Wednesday, the movement said that the AP report “is a new slap in the face of those promoting these baseless allegations.”

“ These claims were used to demonize the resistance and to cover up the humane behavior the resistance displayed towards zionist prisoners during their detention in Gaza,” the statement added.

“This report, like many other reports issued by global media and human rights organizations that have refuted these allegations and proven them to be mere lies and exposed fabrications, calls for President Biden and other officials in some European countries to apologize and stop repeating these false accusations against the resistance and the Palestinian people.”

Hamas also called on “Mrs. Pramila Patten, the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, to re-evaluate and review her report in which she accused the Palestinian resistance of committing sexual violence, after relying on Zionist narratives that have been proven baseless, without conducting a professional investigation into those false claims.”

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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  1. More than 100,000 people’s lives have been utterly destroyed, a historic genocide is ongoing. Divisions in families, between countries, the reverberations – lost jobs, educations destroyed. Imagine the impact on climate! Including all the new wonderful weapons being manufactured! $$being made by the already bloated rich. All because the media didn’t do a thorough job of reporting, and the president of the USA didn’t bother to report factually on what happened on 10/7. He was told there were no beheadings. The truth of what happened MATTERS. The is a colossal loss of HUMANITY.

  2. It all fits into the “blood libel”/Jim Crow Lynch Law routine – allegations are made about vulnerable members of a dominant group suffering ritual or sexual violence at the hands of a subordinate group (Christian Children in Mediaeval Europe; White Women in US Jim Crow); then dominant group is incited to hatred, fear and rage by their leaders; murders and massacres follow. At this point the details have been submerged in the following violence – ie, sexual violence may or may not have occurred on Oct7; but that’s been outweighed by the IDF massacres.

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