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UN account hit for explicitly condemning Hamas’ attack on Israel eight weeks later: 'Took you long enough'

An official UN social media account endured harsh criticism by social media users and members of the U.S. government for waiting to explicitly condemn Hamas' attack on Israel.

The official UN Women X account took serious heat this week after explicitly condemning the Hamas massacre in Israel for the first time, nearly two months after the attack happened. 

The delayed condemnation prompted criticism from social media users, and even U.S. lawmakers, who – prior to UN Women’s long-awaited statement – signed a letter rebuking the group for its silence.

The group, an arm of the United Nations promoting gender equality and women’s rights throughout the world, finally condemned Hamas explicitly in an X post on Friday. 

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In an X thread that began with UN Women’s statement, "We reiterate that all women, Israeli women, Palestinian women, as all others, are entitled to a life lived in safety and free from violence." The group wrote, "We unequivocally condemn the brutal attacks by Hamas on Israel on 7 October. We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks."

Again, this was nearly two entire months since the attack on Israel by the terror group. Until this post, there were a couple that came close to a condemnation of Hamas, one of which didn’t even belong to the group.

On Oct. 14, the account posted, "UN Women condemns the attacks on civilians in Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territories, & is deeply alarmed by the devastating impact on civilians including women & girls. International Humanitarian Law & Human Rights Law must be respected & upheld."

There was no mention of Hamas, and the only post that UN Women made about the attack on the day it happened was a repost of Executive Director of UN Women Sima Bahous’ statement, which read, "The escalation of hostilities in #Israel & the Occupied Palestinian Territory #OPT is gravely concerning. It is imperative that all civilians, including women & girls, are protected.

She added, "We call for immediate deescalation & for upholding & respecting international humanitarian law."

And on Nov. 29, still almost two months removed from Hamas’ attack, UN Women reposted a statement from UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who said, "There are numerous accounts of sexual violence during the abhorrent acts of terror by Hamas on 7 October that must be vigorously investigated and prosecuted. Gender-based violence must be condemned. Anytime. Anywhere."

However, the account consistently posted about the plight of Gazans more than 25 times throughout the two months since the attack.

One of these posts claimed, "#Gaza spent the night in darkness and fear. The collapse of the humanitarian system is imminent. We continue to call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and humanitarian access to food, water, medicine and fuel.We also call for the unconditional release of all hostages."

Another mentioned Israel’s death toll next to Gaza’s but provided little context around any of the deaths: "In Israel 1,400 people have been killed and over 200 have been taken hostage. In #Gaza over 9,700 people have been killed. We continue to call for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire and unconditional release of hostages."

The United States Congress noticed the silence on Hamas from UN Women, with members publishing a bipartisan letter led by Young Kim (R-Calif.) and Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D-Fla.), blasting the group and Bahous for displaying a "one-sided approach" to the issue. 

The letter stated, "The failure by UN Women to publicly stand up for Israeli women and condemn Hamas’ systematic atrocities undermines UN Women and highlights its one-sided approach."

"Your disregard and tone-deaf response to Hamas’ attack is woefully unsatisfactory and consistent with the UN’s longstanding bias against Israel," it added.

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Earlier this week, CNN pressed UN Women Deputy Director Sarah Hendriks about her group’s failure to "specifically call out Hamas." The official’s answer still managed to sidestep any mention of Hamas but noted the UN is supportive of "impartial, independent investigation" into the attacks. 

Once the group gave its explicit condemnation of Hamas on Dec. 1, X users were not satisfied.

Jewish comms person and journalist Eitan Fischberger ripped the post, stating, "What kind of ‘gender-based atrocities and sexual violence,’ @UN_Women? Be specific. This is your first post to mention Hamas since 2013, and you fail to explicitly call out its mass rapes. Too late, too late."

Political commentator David Weissman replied, "Took you long enough."

HuffPost journalist Yashar Ali commented, "Almost two months later."

GB News commentator Darren Grimes added, "You took your bloody time?!"

CNN anchor Kaitlan Collins stated, "Nearly two months later."

The Independent Women’s Forum’s Gabriella Hoffman rebuked UN Women, stating, "This should have been tweeted on October 7th. Embarrassing, but par for the course for any and all UN entities."

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