Israeli Hostage Says Hamas Captor Sexually Assaulted Her

Hamas fighters in Gaza City (Getty Images)
March 26, 2024

Amit Soussana, an Israeli lawyer who was taken hostage by Hamas on Oct. 7, recently became the first person to speak publicly about being sexually assaulted by the Palestinian terrorists during captivity. 

"[A guard] came towards me and shoved the gun at my forehead," 40-year-old Soussana told the New York Times during eight hours of interviews in mid-March, adding that the Hamas guard hit and groped her before forcing her to "commit a sexual act on him." Soussana, who remained in captivity for nearly two months after being beaten and abducted during Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, shared extensive details of the sexual and other violence she had suffered, which the outlet agreed to not disclose.  

Soussana’s account of her ordeal in the interviews was consistent with what she had told doctors and a social worker shortly after leaving captivity on Nov. 30, according to the Times. "[Soussana] spoke immediately, fluently and in detail, not only about her sexual assault but also about the many other ordeals she experienced," one of the doctors, Israeli gynecologist Dr. Julia Barda, wrote in a medical report.

Hamas spokesman Basem Naim in a statement to the Times dismissed Soussana’s account, noting she had not publicly spoken about the mistreatment sooner and that the details make "it difficult to believe the story, unless it was designed by some security officers." The spokesman said Hamas’s religious beliefs "forbade any mistreatment of any human being, regardless of his sex, religion or ethnicity" and that "the human body, and especially that of the woman, is sacred."

Soussana’s allegations against Hamas came after a United Nations report on March 4 confirmed evidence of Hamas’s sexual violence on and after Oct. 7. "There are reasonable grounds to believe that multiple incidents of sexual violence took place [on Oct. 7] with victims being subjected to rape and/or gang rape and then killed or killed while being raped," the report said, adding there is also "clear and convincing information" that similar crimes were perpetrated against Israeli hostages after the terrorist attack.