LifestyleFormer hostage reveals sexual violence ordeal under Hamas captivity

Former hostage reveals sexual violence ordeal under Hamas captivity

Amit Sousanna was in Hamas captivity.
Amit Sousanna was in Hamas captivity.
Images source: © Getty Images | AMIR LEVY
11:16 AM EDT, March 27, 2024

In an interview with "The New York Times," Amit Soussana, a former hostage of Hamas, shared the harrowing experiences of sexual and physical violence she endured during her captivity. She recounted a chilling incident where one of the fighters raped her at gunpoint.

Amit Soussana, an Israeli lawyer, was held hostage by Hamas for 55 days. Her abduction caught public attention when a video showcasing her capture and her struggle with the fighters before being taken hostage circulated widely in the media.

Harassment and Rape

During her captivity, Soussana was kept in a children's bedroom, chained by her left ankle. Her guard, whom she identified only as Muhammad, would sometimes sit beside her on the bed, lift her shirt, and inappropriately touch her.

She further revealed the invasive and dehumanizing interrogations Muhammad subjected her to, frequently inquiring about her menstrual cycle. In late October, after ordering her to wash herself, Muhammad violently assaulted her, culminating in him raping her at gunpoint. Following the attack, he left her naked and alone in the dark.

Violence and Coerced Testimonies

Soussana also recounted the violent tactics used by Hamas fighters to coerce information about their adversaries, including beatings with rifle butts, kicking, and being blindfolded with a shirt. She hopes her story will bring attention to the plight of approximately 100 hostages still held by Hamas.

A Hamas spokesperson has denied these allegations, claiming that their fighters regard the human body as sacred, particularly that of a woman. Nonetheless, a UN report corroborates the existence of sexual violence against women in Hamas's custody.

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