Hamas Crimes Against Humanity

On October 7, 2023,

Hamas perpetrated a barbaric attack against civilians, killing over 1,400, wounding over 7,200, and kidnapping over 240 innocent men, women, children, babies, elderly, and disabled people. This massacre is the deadliest attack against Jews since the Holocaust.

The gruesome way that Hamas perpetrated its attack included but are not limited to beheading babies, brutally raping young girls and elderly women, mutilating bodies before and after the murders, torturing victims, tying up and burning families alive, and kidnapping and forcefully taking hostages into Gaza. Hamas’ heinous acts are as evil as ISIS if not more. 

Worse than the Nazis, Hamas did not try to cover up and hide its traces of the barbaric acts but rather documented their horrific acts and broadcasted them across social media, celebrating the cruel ways they massacred innocent civilians. 

Hamas’ barbaric acts of murder, torture, rape, kidnapping hostages, and other acts directly targeted at the civilian population amount to crimes against humanity. 

Hamas has never been held accountable by the international community for its innumerable grave crimes committed since its establishment, including war crimes against Israel and Palestinian civilians, in addition to the crimes against humanity. 

For so long as Hamas continues to hold hostages, this is an ongoing crime. 

Hamas must be held accountable.

ELNET, in partnership with ELNET-Israel Board Member Dr. Sarah Masha Fainberg, has launched a campaign to end this injustice, and finally hold Hamas accountable. 


let’s ensure Hamas no longer enjoys global impunity and that justice is served. 

What is a crime against humanity?

International criminal law involves the gravest crimes of concern to the international community, which are the crime of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity.

The modern day use of crimes against humanity was first established in the Nuremburg trials holding the Nazis accountable after WWII. Though there has since been no dedicated treaty codifying what constitutes crimes against humanity, differing international treaties do include varying definitions of crimes against humanity, founded on customary international law.

The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC) defines crimes against humanity in article 7, included here:

For the purpose of this Statute, “crime against humanity” means any of the following acts when committed as
part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:
(a) Murder;
(b) Extermination;
(c) Enslavement;
(d) Deportation or forcible transfer of population;
(e) Imprisonment or other severe deprivation of physical liberty in violation of fundamental rules of
international law
(f) Torture;
(g) Rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form
of sexual violence of comparable gravity
(h) Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural,
religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as
impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or
any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court
(i) Enforced disappearance of persons;
(j) The crime of apartheid;
(k) Other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to
body or to mental or physical health

What are the elements of the crime?

In order for an attack to constitute a crime against humanity it must meet all of the following criteria:

  • Physical element:
    • The commission of an act considered among one of the grave crimes against humanity (murder, imprisonment, rape, torture, etc). In contrast to crimes of war, a crime against humanity can be committed in times of peace or periods that do not rise to the level of an armed conflict. 
  • Mental element:
    • With knowledge of the attack. It suffices that the perpetrator has knowledge that his actions advanced the attack, even if lacking knowledge on the details of the attack.
  • Contextual element:
    • Committed in a fashion that is either widespread, meaning conducted on a large scale or over a broad geographic area, OR systematic, meaning perpetrated in a methodological or organized way. As opposed to the crime of genocide, it is not necessary to prove that there is an overall specific intent. It suffices for there to be a simple intent to commit any of the acts listed
    • Perpetrated against a civilian population. In contrast with genocide, crimes against humanity do not need to target a specific group. Instead, the victim of the attack can be any civilian population, regardless of its affiliation or identity. Additionally, when the target of the attack is of a predominantly civilian nature, the presence of some soldiers does not alter its classification as a “civilian population”.

Which countries and organizations have -

Condemned the Oct. 7th Hamas attack?

  • All 27 members of the European Union
  • United States of America 
  • The United Nations
  • The European Parliament 

Designated Hamas as a terrorist organization?

  • European Union
  • United States of America
  • United Kingdom
  • Australia 
  • Canada 
  • Japan 
  • Paraguay 
  • New Zealand
  • Saudi Arabia 

Why hold Hamas accountable?

  • Holding Hamas accountable for the atrocities it committed will ensure that the perpetrators of these barbaric acts will be held culpable.
  • It will send a strong message to the world that there will be no impunity to those who employ death and destruction as a means of trying to effecting change.
  • It will serve as a deterrent for supporting Hamas by those who have been sympathetic to the organization it the past, or those who are at risk of potentially doing so in the future, making clear that this is entirely intolerable.
  • It will thwart the state sponsors of Hamas, namely Iran and Qatar
  • Banning pro-Hamas activity and support by western countries is a critical element in the global fight against terrorism and will inhibit terrorist activities and funding in those countries.
  • Holding Hamas accountable will ensure that justice for the victims of their actions is served.  

What can you do?

Elected Officials:

We appeal to your commitment to justice and request your support in holding Hamas accountable by considering the following actions:

  • Publicly denounce Hamas’ actions as crimes against humanity
  • Demand the immediate and unconditional release of all hostages unconditionally
  • Work to ban pro-Hamas activities and support in your country
  • Call on international organizations to pass resolutions condemning Hamas for perpetrating grave international crimes

Victims and Families:

Your story is important, and can be a powerful means for garnering international pressure against Hamas for the crimes committed.


We encourage you to implore that the international community denounce Hamas and pursue justice. 

Please reach out to us if you wish to share your story with Europeans.

Involved Citizens:

Support our initiative by raising awareness. 

Ensure that Hamas’ atrocities are not overlooked with the passing of time. 

Share our contents online to reach a broad audience and engage your local elected officials. 

How to stay involved?

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