According to Pramila Patten, the Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations and Special Envoy for Sexual Violence in Conflicts, she has been unable to sleep for a week since viewing the 47-minute video compiled by the IDF of the atrocities committed on October 7. The scenes continue to haunt her. "Only after I saw the video did I understand things that I didn't understand before in terms of the magnitude of the disaster that happened."
Patten was invited by the Foreign Ministry to visit Israel along with Israel's UN ambassadro Gilad Erdan to provide her with a firsthand experience of the extent of the atrocities that took place.
"Patten's visit was especially important to us so that there would be international recognition of the suffering and the horrendous sexual crimes committed against Israeli women and girls on October 7 by the monsters of Hamas," Erdan said. "It is equally important for the world to understand who we are fighting against. The disregard and indifference demonstrated by the UN and its women's organization is a disgrace that cannot be allowed to continue."
Paten will depart on Monday, at the conclusion of an intense 8-day visit. Throughout her stay, she gathered evidence of the incidents of sexual and gender-based violence perpetrated by the terrorists. She came with a delegation of 10 experts from the fields of medicine and law, many of whom will remain after she has left, for at least another week to continue the crucial task of gathering evidence on the crimes committed.
During her visit, Patten met doctors and psychiatrists from the Ministry of Health, professionals from the Ministry of Social Affairs who specialize in providing support to sexual violence victims, and met with President Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal. She also had the opportunity to meet with representatives from civil society organizations.
To gain a deeper understanding of the horrific events that unfolded, Patten toured locations where the massacres occurred. In Be'eri, she was accompanied by Or Yalin, a survivor of the massacre, and Yossi Landau, a member of ZAKA
Expressing her profound shock, Patten described her experience as unlike anything she had witnessed elsewhere in the world. "The world outside cannot understand the magnitude of the event," she said. "I myself also internalized the magnitude of the event just by being here myself."
She acknowledged the sense of betrayal and abandonment felt by the Israeli people in the UN response to the massacre and the war that ensued. In each meeting she attended, Patten consistently expressed her solidarity, empathy, and sympathy towards Israel. She recognized the profound pain, anger, and frustration that Israel experienced due to a perceived lack of understanding and attention from the international community regarding the atrocities committed against them.
In Late February, Patten is expected to release a special report on the extent of sexual violence throughout many countries, with a specific chapter dedicated to Israel.