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Hamas calls on leaders to apologise after AP debunks widespread sexual assault allegations

Hamas welcomed an Associated Press report published on Wednesday that shed light on debunked allegations of sexual violence perpetrated by Palestinian fighters on 7 October.

“The report published by the American Associated Press agency, in which it confirmed that the allegations of the Zionist entity that the Palestinian resistance committed sexual violence on 7 October are not true, and that they were deliberately fabricated, is a new slap in the face of the promoters of these baseless allegations,” Hamas said in a statement.

The report explores the testimony of Chaim Otmazgin, a volunteer with ZAKA Israeli search and rescue organization, that was used to document purported allegations of violence by Palestinian fighters on 7 October, but much of that testimony was later debunked.

“Some allege the accounts of sexual assault were purposely concocted. ZAKA officials and others dispute that. Regardless, AP’s examination of ZAKA’s handling of the now debunked stories shows how information can be clouded and distorted in the chaos of the conflict,” the AP said.

Hamas said the AP report and other articles “proved that they [sexual assault allegations] are pure lies and blatant fabrications”.

The group called on US President Joe Biden and members of European countries to “apologise...stop repeating these false accusations against the resistance and the Palestinian people”.