Israeli hostage who testified about Gaza sexual assault to feature in Sheryl Sandberg documentary

Amit Soussana was the first Israeli hostage to reveal details of her torture in Gaza captivity


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. (Photo by Amir Levy/Getty Images)

Former Israeli hostage Amit Soussana has revealed in a new interview how Hamas sexually abused her when she was held hostage in Gaza.

Soussana, 40, first described how she was kept chained in a bedroom in the dark for several weeks while a Hamas terrorist named Muhammad forced her to commit sexual acts on him at gunpoint in the New York Times last month.

And now, the Israeli lawyer who was held captive for 55 days will appear in a new documentary produced by former Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg, Screams Before Silence.

The first hostage to speak out publicly on the sexual abuse she suffered inside Gaza, Soussana said: “I was chained for three weeks in Gaza. I was kept in a really dark room without being able to move. And whenever I needed to go and use the bathroom, I needed to ask for permission.

“His name was Mohammed. He used to sit on the bed in front of me, wearing his shorts and lying down. I remember I couldn’t look at him, I was just looking away and covering myself with the blanket so I wouldn’t have to look at him, it made me feel really uncomfortable.

“He also kept asking me, ‘Do I like sex? Do I have sex with my boyfriend?’

“Whenever he talked about it, I just like giggled and said, ‘come on stop, stop,’ trying to change the subject. I knew that he was up to something. I knew that something bad was going to happen.

“One day, Mohammed came and gave me women’s sanitary pads. He said, ‘blood, blood. When you get your period, after that you’ll take a shower and you’ll wash your clothes.’ And he kept repeating that a couple of times a day.

“And then I got my period and the period was just for one day but I fooled him to thinking that the period [was] continuing until I could not lie anymore.

“He untied me and took me to the kitchen and showed me a pot. I remember thinking how can I avoid that? There’s nothing I can do.”

In a separate interview, Soussana revealed how her captor forced her to “commit a sexual act on him”. Speaking to the New York Times, Soussana said Muhammed 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.”

Soussana’s account has been corroborated by the Israeli medical officials she spoke to immediately after her release in November.

Former Facebook executive, Sheryl Sandberg, is behind the documentary that will feature several interviews with survivors and eyewitnesses to the Hamas attack on October 7.

“Most of the victims of Hamas who experienced sexual abuse and sexual violence on October 7 were killed,” Sanberg said on CNN this week.

Sanberg said the documentary will be released online for free.

“Anyone who wants to bear witness and see the very compelling evidence of the sexual assault of October 7 will be able to do that,” Sandberg said.

A UN report found “clear and convincing information” that some hostages suffered sexual violence while being held captive in Gaza and there is reason to believe sexual violence in Gaza is ongoing.

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