According to sources, Israel police have opened an inquiry into charges of sexual abuse during the deadly October onslaught by Hamas terrorists on Israeli settlements near the Gaza Strip.
Chief Superintendent David Katz of the national section for severe and organized crime told reporters at police headquarters in Beit Shemesh that the investigation was difficult and would likely take months.
According to Katz, the inquiry is particularly complicated since fire fights between Israeli soldiers and Hamas terrorists had lasted for days at several of the probable murder locations. Some of the victims have died, and survivors are dealing with trauma.
“It’s much more complicated because there is the matter of time that passed since the actions until we could reach the bodies, some of them were lying there for days,” Katz said. “Second of all – the trauma for the victims.”
It will take time, Katz said, until survivors will be able to express their ordeal.
“We have other solid information about the crimes including sexual assaults, from eyewitnesses, from forensics which we are still examining, from statements from other participants.”
Around 1,200 people were killed, according to Israeli tallies, and some 240 were taken hostage, including children, after Hamas gunmen crossed the border and attacked Israeli towns and villages.
Israel in response has vowed to wipe out Hamas, launching an air, sea and ground offensive that has killed more than 11,000 people, including many children, according to medical officials in Hamas-run Gaza.