Hostage freed from Gaza describes sexual assault in Hamas captivity
Visitors explore the Empty Shabbat Table installation at Hostage Square in Tel Aviv Feb. 22, 2024
(Photo: Sharon Wisch-Ray/TJP)

A terrorist guard forced Amit Soussana to ‘commit a sexual act on him’ at gunpoint, she told “The New York Times.”

JNS Staff Report
March 26, 2024

Released Israeli hostage Amit Soussana was sexually assaulted during the 54 days she spent in Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip, she revealed in an interview with The New York Times published on Tuesday.

Soussana, 40, was abducted by terrorists from her home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza during the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre. She was eventually released on Nov. 30, in the last wave of the weeklong hostages-for-ceasefire deal with the Hamas terrorist organization.

While several female hostages freed in the November ceasefire have alluded to being sexually abused in Gaza, Soussana’s interview marked the first time that a released hostage has detailed Hamas sex crimes.

Soussana told the Times she was held in a children’s bedroom, chained by her ankle. On multiple occasions, a guard named Muhammad would enter, sit next to her on the bed, lift up her shirt and touch her, she said.

Some two weeks into her captivity, Muhammad attacked Soussana after briefly freeing her from the shackles to use the bathroom. The guard forced her to “commit a sexual act on him” at gunpoint, she recalled.

In another incident, after being moved to a new location one week later, guards wrapped Soussana’s head in a T-shirt, forced her to sit on the floor, handcuffed her and beat her with the butt of a gun.

After several minutes, they covered her mouth and nose with duct tape, tied her feet and suspended her across the gap between two couches. Soussana described hanging “like a chicken” from a stick, causing her so much pain that she felt that her hands would soon be dislocated.

The Times noted that the accounts were consistent with what she told an Israeli gynecologist and a social worker within hours of her release. The newspaper reviewed medical files in order to verify the claims.

“Amit spoke immediately, fluently and in detail, not only about her sexual assault but also about the many other ordeals she experienced,” stated Dr. Julia Barda, a senior gynecologist affiliated with Tel Aviv University.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog on Tuesday night implored the international community to condemn Hamas’s “brutal terror” and demand the immediate release of all 134 remaining hostages.

“Amit Soussana speaks for all those who cannot speak. She speaks for all the victims of Hamas’ despicable sexual crimes and abuse. She speaks for all women everywhere, he tweeted, adding: “The whole world has the moral duty to stand with Amit – and all the victims.”

At least 10 of the hostages released during the temporary truce were sexually assaulted or abused, a doctor who treated some of the 110 persons released from captivity told the Associated Press late last year.

In addition, Israel is investigating many accounts of sex crimes that occurred during the Oct. 7 assault on the northwestern Negev, when thousands of heavily armed Hamas gunmen stormed the border, killing 1,200 people, wounding thousands more and taking 253 hostages.

The full scope of the rapes may never be known because many of the victims and witnesses were murdered by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.

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