Hamas won’t free women who may reveal sex abuse in captivity, suggests US official

Spokesman suggests the recent truce fell apart because of Hamas fears over a PR disaster


A US State Department official has suggested that the reason the truce between Israel and Hamas fell apart was that the terrorists did not want released female prisoners revealing the sexual abuse they have faced in captivity.

Under the terms of the truce, which collapsed last Friday, Hamas was to prioritise the release of children and non-IDF females.

Israel says 15 women still held by Hamas meet that description, as well as two children — Ariel Bibas, 4, and Kfir Bibas, 10 months, both of whom may now have perished.

“The fact that they continue to hold women hostages, the fact that they continue to hold children hostages, just the fact that it seems one of the reasons they don’t want to turn women over they’ve been holding hostage, and the reason this pause fell apart, is they don’t want those women to be able to talk about what happened to them during their time in custody,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters.

Miller, citing sensitivities in discussing treatment of captives, declined to give details on the treatment of the women.

But he said that the United States had “no reason to doubt” reports of sexual violence by Hamas.

“There is very little that I would put beyond Hamas when it comes to its treatment of civilians and particularly its treatment of women,” Miller said.

It comes as Israeli film star Gal Gadot said on Monday that the world had “failed the women of October 7” amid a global campaign to highlight the silence of the UN and other women’s rights bodies over the brutal sexual violence carried out by Hamas terrorists.

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