Former Israeli Hostage Tells of Hamas Sexual Abuse

Hamas (Emmanuel Dunand/AFP via Getty Images)
February 13, 2024

An Israeli former hostage detailed accounts of sexual abuse of female captives taken by Hamas on Oct. 7, in the latest horrific description from someone who was once in the terror group's custody.

"Every time we talked about it, at least one of the people said that they had suffered sexual and physical abuse, about half of them, and I haven't talked to all the girls who are there," said 17-year-old Agam Goldstein-Almog, referencing meetings with other survivors, in a clip shared by multiple Israeli journalists on X Tuesday.

Goldstein-Almog, whom Hamas members abducted from Kibbutz Kfar Aza and later released as part of a temporary truce in late November, made her comments in the documentary Screams Before Silence. Former Meta COO Sheryl Sandberg produced the movie, set for an April release, in which she interviews Goldstein-Almog and others, to highlight the terror group's sexual and other violence against women and girls.

In the Tuesday clip, Goldstein-Almog recounts the story of one former hostage who told her a terrorist sexually abused her in captivity.

"She went into the bathroom and washed her armpit, and then he came into the bathroom and held a gun to her head," Goldstein-Almog said. "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."

The ordeal lasted about 30 minutes, Goldstein-Almog said, adding that the hostage she talked to recounted that the terrorist kept his gun out the entire time.

"He never put his gun away from her head," Goldstein-Almog said. "And then he told her, 'Go get dressed,' and left the bathroom. They went back to the living room. 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 is far from the first hostage to tell horror stories about Hamas captivity. One woman told Israel's Knesset last month that she witnessed not only sexual abuse but also torture of her fellow hostages. Another, Mia Schem, gave a December interview in which she described being shut inside a dark room, hardly sleeping at all during her 54 days in captivity, and going multiple days without food.

Sandberg was one critic of women's organization's who did not immediately condemn Hamas's sexual abuse during the Oct. 7 attacks.

In November, U.N. Women posted before later deleting a condemnation of the rape of Israeli women by Hamas members. Days later, one of the organization's officials did not give a clear answer as to why she could not condemn rapes by Hamas. Days after that, U.N. Women issued an official statement that acknowledged the "numerous accounts of gender-based atrocities and sexual violence."