Hamas gang raped and beheaded women at rave massacre, fresh testimony reveals

Almost two months after the attack, the international community is beginning to act on reports of Palestinian sexual violence


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Survivors of the Supernova massacre witnessed women being gang raped and beheaded, new testimony has revealed.

Yoni Saadon, who escaped execution by hiding underneath a stage, said: “I saw this beautiful woman with the face of an angel and eight or ten of the fighters beating and raping her.

“She was screaming, ‘Stop it—already I’m going to die anyway from what you are doing, just kill me!’ When they finished they were laughing and the last one shot her in the head.

“I kept thinking it could have been one of my daughters. Or my sister—I had bought her a ticket but last minute she couldn’t come.”

Speaking to The Sunday Times at Sitria, a support area set up for festival survivors southeast of Tel Aviv, Saadon said he also witnessed the brutal murder of women who resisted Hamas attackers.

“They had caught a young woman near a car and she was fighting back, not allowing them to strip her,” he said.

“They threw her to the ground and one of the terrorists took a shovel and beheaded her and her head rolled along the ground. I see that head too.”

Discussing another woman who was killed in front of him, Saadon added: “She fell to the ground, shot in the head, and I pulled her body over me and smeared her blood on me so it would look as if I was dead too.

“I will never forget her face. Every night I wake to it and apologise to her, saying ‘I’m sorry’.”

Haim Outmezgine, commander of a special unit of Zaka, which collects the remains of the dead, told The Sunday Times it was clear Hamas terrorists aimed to sexually assault women.

“We collected 1,000 bodies in ten days from the festival site and kibbutzim,” he said.

“No one saw more than us. It was clear they were trying to spread as much horror as they could — to kill, to burn alive, to rape … it seemed their mission was to rape as many as possible.”

In one field, he said, he found the bodies of two girls with their legs apart who had both been shot in the head. One had her shorts ripped and had been shot in the vagina, the other had her jeans pulled down and bruises on her legs.

Architect Shari, who has volunteered at the Shura military base to help identify and prepare corpses for burial, said she was horrified at the scale of the violence inflicted upon women by Hamas.

“Opening the body bags was scary as we didn’t know what we would see,” she told The Sunday Times.

“They were all young women. Most in little clothing or shredded clothing and their bodies bloodied particularly round their underwear and some women shot many times in the face as if to mutilate them.

“Their faces were in anguish and often their fingers clenched as they died. We saw women whose pelvises were broken. Legs broken. There were women who had been shot in the crotch, in the breasts … there seems no doubt what happened to them.”

Israeli police investigating sexual violence committed on October 7 say they have collected thousands of statements, photographs and video clips documenting Hamas’s crimes.

Shelly Harush, the police commander leading the probe, said: “It’s clear now that sexual crimes were part of the planning and the purpose was to terrify and humiliate people.

The fresh revelations come as mounting evidence of brutal atrocities committed against women on October 7 has spurred the international community to react.

57 days after the massacres, UN Women have issued a statement condemning the "brutal attacks" launched by Hamas against Israel.

The international body said: “We are alarmed by the numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence during those attacks. This is why we have called for all accounts of gender-based violence to be duly investigated and prosecuted, with the rights of the victim at the core.”

Professor Ruth Halperin-Kaddari, who spent 12 years as a committee member on the UN convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, told The Sunday Times: “This is the statement they should have issued two months ago. “It’s mindblowing.

“We were there for our sisters when terrible things happened across the ocean, when they took away abortion rights in US, the killing of women in Iran, the abduction of Yazidis … but with us they looked away and I can’t think of a reasonable answer.”

Karim Khan, the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, has meanwhile spent the last two days in Israel meeting survivors and hostage families.

He says he will investigate crimes within his jurisdiction, which is expected to include sexual violence.

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