Hamas terrorist forced me to commit sex acts on him at gunpoint, ex-hostage reveals

Amit Soussana is the first Israeli to share her personal story of sexual abuse at the hands of Hamas


KFAR AZA, ISRAEL - JANUARY 29: Amit Soussana (r), who was held hostage by Hamas and released reacts after speaking to the press near her house where she was kidnapped during the Oct 7 attack on the kibbutz, on January 29, 2024 in Kfar Aza, Israel. Dozens of Kfar Aza residents were killed, and others kidnapped, during the Oct. 7 attack on the kibbutz by Hamas. Many of the towns and kibbutzim attacked on that day remain completely evacuated, with their residents having relocated to other parts of Israel. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Former Israeli hostage Amit Soussana has revealed that Hamas sexually assaulted and tortured her during the 55 days she was held by the terrorist group in Gaza, according to an interview with the New York Times.

Soussana, 40, is the first Israeli to come forward with a personal account of sexual abuse at the hands of Hamas after their attack on October 7. She shared with the New York Times how she was held alone for the first two and a half weeks, chained to a door handle in a child’s bedroom, guarded by a Hamas militant named Muhammad who forced her to commit sexual acts on him at gunpoint.

Soussana, recounted her ordeal, including how she was kidnapped by a group of armed men, footage of which was captured by security cameras outside a solar farm on the kibbutz.

Soussana, a lawyer, said Muhammad, who slept in an adjacent room, would sometimes wander into the bedroom in his underwear and frequently asked her about when she was due to get her period. She told the Times: “Every day, he would ask:‘Did you get your period? Did you get your period? When you get your period, when it will be over, you will wash, you will take a shower and you will wash your clothes,’” 

Though her period was just one day due to malnourishment and stress, she convinced Muhammad that it continued for nearly a week, she said.

Sousanna recalled how, on the day of the assault, Muhammad insisted that she bathe, then groped her while she was naked in the bathroom.

“He sat me on the edge of the bath. And I closed my legs. And I resisted. And he kept punching me and put his gun in my face,” Soussana said. “Then he dragged me to the bedroom.”

Her captor then forced her to “commit a sexual act on him” according to the New York Times, and Soussana’s account of what occurred is consistent with the testimonies she gave to Israeli medical officials immediately after her release during the temporary ceasefire in November.

At that time, Soussana spoke with a senior Israeli gynecologist Dr. Julia Barda, and a social worker, Valeria Tsekhovsky, about the sexual assault, the two women said in separate interviews with the New York Times. The following day, Soussana shared her experience with a doctor from Israel’s National Center of Forensic Medicine, according to the center’s report which was reviewed by the newspaper.

Hamas has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual assault occurring during the hostages’ time in captivity and on October 7. Basem Naim, a spokesman for the terrorist group, told the New York Times that “the level of detail in [Soussana’s] account makes “it difficult to believe the story, unless it was designed by some security officers.”

“For us, the human body, and especially that of the woman, is sacred,” Naim said, adding that Hamas’s religious beliefs “forbade any mistreatment of any human being, regardless of his sex, religion or ethnicity.”

International organisations have similarly cast doubt on the validity of claims made by Israelis, but a report by the United Nations from earlier this month said there was “clear and convincing information” that some hostages had suffered sexual violence and there were “reasonable grounds” to believe sexual violence occurred during the raid.

Soussana, who was kidnapped from Kibbutz Kfar Azza on October 7 and held in several locations around Gaza until her release on 30 November, told the New York Times how terrifying it was to be reliant on the very man who abused her: “You can’t stand looking at him — but you have to: He’s the one who’s protecting you, he’s your guard,” she said. “You’re there with him and you know that every moment it can happen again. You’re completely dependent on him.”

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