Former Israeli Hostage Says 'Every Woman' in Hamas Captivity Faces Sexual Abuse

Palestinian Hamas militants (Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
April 2, 2024

An Israeli woman who was held hostage by Hamas terrorists for nearly two months testified Tuesday in the Israeli parliament that "every woman" under Hamas captivity has faced sexual abuse. 

"Every woman there, and as hard as it is to say, every woman experiences some form of sexual harassment. It doesn't matter how you try to beautify or change it," returned hostage Mia Regev said in front of the parliament’s Committee for the Advancement of Women. The committee on Tuesday held an emergency session with families of hostages abducted during Hamas’s Oct. 7 terrorist attack on Israel.

"I was abandoned once. I [was] sitting there waiting and saying, ‘Okay, in a few more days they will come to rescue me.’ … And I didn’t believe it would take another day and another day and another day," Regev added. "I came back after 50 days, and I am coping with things [that happened]—I don’t want to describe someone who was there for 179 days."

Regev in her testimony also slammed the parliament for taking a break between Apr. 7 and May 19. "To hear and see that the Knesset lawmakers go on break—so what will the women do there? What will the women, children, men, and soldiers do there? Will they wait for the Knesset members and the government to return to their comfortable seats and decide what to do? I personally did not believe it when I saw it," Regev said. 

"[The hostages] rely on you, on the government, and on the state that has already disappointed them once," Regev remarked at the end of her testimony.

Sharon Aloni-Cunio, another Israeli woman who was abducted on Oct. 7, corroborated Regev’s testimony. "As a woman who was there, I can say that the fear is endless. It can't be described in words. To be a woman in captivity is to be in constant fear, but the men there also undergo abuse," Aloni-Cunio said at the Tuesday session, adding that "every minute feels eternal and every movement of the terrorists causes a contraction in the stomach because who knows what may happen."

The victims’ testimonies came after a United Nations report last month confirmed evidence of Hamas terrorists committing acts of sexual violence during the Oct. 7 attack and against hostages the terrorist group captured. "There are reasonable grounds to believe that multiple incidents of sexual violence took place with victims being subjected to rape and/or gang rape and then killed or killed while being raped," the report noted.