A former hostage half of the girls she spoke to during her time in Hamas captivity suffered sexual and physical abuse at the hands of their captors in new video testimony.
During the three-minute clip, teenager Agam Goldstein-Almog said that said that several hostages confided in her that they had been sexually assaulted whilst held captive in Gaza, and she relayed the story of an unnamed woman who said she had been raped by a Hamas guard.
“He told her on the last day she was being moved to a different place,” said Goldstein-Almog. “She was staying in an apartment with one guard. He told her that they had to move: ‘Go get ready, wash yourself in the sink.’ She went into the bathroom and washed her armpits, and then he came into the bathroom and held a gun to her head.
“He started kissing her and she started crying. She told me, ‘You know how when you cry your mouth is like this? This is what it was like, but he wouldn’t stop kissing me.’ He took off all of her clothes and touched her all over her body. He asked her to touch his genitals in different ways and he also touched hers. She told me that she couldn’t stop crying and that he wouldn’t stop what he was doing. He enjoyed it.
“For 30 minutes, the gun was pointed at her head. She had no choice. I asked her, ‘did you do it? Did you do what he asked you to do?’ and she said ‘what do you mean? Of course. I had no other option,’” Goldstein-Almog said.
“And then he told her ‘Go get dressed,’ and left the bathroom. They went back to the living room and she told me that her ears were ringing and she couldn’t stop crying, she was in shock. Then they moved her to a different place, and she never saw him again. He told her not to tell anyone.”
Goldstein-Almog also learned through conversations with several other female hostages that some had been held captive alone, even though Hamas terrorists told them girls were always kept in pairs.
She gave the testimony during an interview with Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Meta and founder of LeanIn.org, as part of Sandberg’s upcoming documentary “Screams Before Silence” made in collaboration with Israeli documentary filmmaker Kastina Communications.
Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Meta and founder of LeanIn.org, is launching a documentary to highlight the pervasive gender-based violence committed by Hamas on and after October 7. (Photo: Screenshot via X)
Due to launch in April, the one-hour documentary will shine a light on the gender-based violence that occurred on and after October 7, with Sandberg interviewing released hostages, eyewitnesses, and medical and forensic experts.
Sandberg has been a longtime advocate for women's and girls’ rights and has been vocal in her support for the victims of gender-based violence since the Oct. 7 atrocities. Last week, Sandberg told Deadline: “For the victims and eyewitnesses who survived, we must demand justice and hold their tormentors and rapists accountable for these crimes against humanity.
“I am grateful for the opportunity to work with the world-renowned team at Kastina Communications to shine a light on the sexual violence committed by Hamas.”
Since her release, Goldstein-Almog has repeatedly expressed her fear for the women who remain in Hamas captivity. In a piece she wrote for The Free Press last month, Goldstein-Almog said: “I don’t know if the women I left in the tunnels are still together. As I write these words, I can still see the look in their eyes. What more have they endured? Are they still being abused? Are they still alive?”
On October 7, Goldstein-Almog watched Hamas terrorists murder her father and older sister at Kibbutz Kfar Aza before they took the 18-year-old, her mother and her two younger brothers to Gaza as hostages. They were released on 26 November after being held captive for 51 days.