UK

Minister hopes Hamas sex attackers ‘get what’s coming to them’

Peers were told of alleged rapes by Hamas members (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Peers were told of alleged rapes by Hamas members (Jonathan Brady/PA) Peers were told of alleged rapes by Hamas members (Jonathan Brady/PA)

A Home Office minister has said he hopes those who carried out acts of rape and sexual violence in the deadly attack by Hamas on Israel “get what’s coming to them”.

Speaking in Parliament, Lord Sharpe of Epsom made clear he did not mean sanctions.

The Tory frontbencher also joined criticism of campaigners against sexual violence who had remained silent over the outrages committed by insurgents on October 7.

He said he could think of an “unreasonable” explanation and it “disgusted” him.

The UN is among those to have been lambasted for the delay in condemning the reported use of sexual violence by Hamas.

The militant group, banned as a terror organisation by the UK, has denied the abuses.

Raising the issue at Westminster, leading lawyer Lord Pannick, an independent crossbencher, said: “Does the minister share the widespread outrage at the use of rape and other forms of sexual violence by Hamas in Israel on October 7?

“Does he also share the widespread outrage that so many individuals and groups who do such excellent work in combating sexual violence have remained silent until now, almost two months since those outrages?

“Can he think of any reason why in this respect Jewish women don’t matter?”

Responding, Lord Sharpe said: “Why did it take the UN so long to condemn those actions?”

On the reluctance of some groups to speak out, he added: “Unfortunately, I can think of an unreasonable answer and it disgusts me.”

Lord Sharpe went on: “From a personal point of view I hope the perpetrators get what’s coming to them and, believe me, I don’t mean sanctions.”

The October massacre by Hamas triggered the deadliest Israeli-Palestinian violence in decades.