“He forced me to have sex.” Israeli hostages talk about months of captivity

Amit Soussana, a 40-year-old Israeli lawyer, was abducted from his home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza on October 7 during an attack by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas in southern Israel, the AFP news agency reported.

In a lengthy interview with the American newspaper New York Times, in which he presents himself as the first Israeli to speak publicly about sexual abuse in captivity, the lawyer spoke in detail about the sexual violence and humiliation he endured.

The interview is now on the front pages of Israeli daily newspapers, some of which have devoted several pages to it, AFP reported.

“This is a terrible testimony, this is a wake-up call, a call to the world to act, to pressure Hamas to do everything in its power and release our hostages,” an Israeli military spokesman said on Tuesday. Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari.

“Amit Susana speaks on behalf of all the victims of Hamas' heinous crimes and sexual assaults, (…) for all women around the world,” Israeli President Isaac Herzog said on social network X.

He was abducted from his home, beaten and dragged to Gaza by at least ten men, some of whom were armed, the Israeli prosecutor said.

Several days into her captivity, according to Amit Susana, a captor began asking her questions about her sex life. The Israeli lawyer was kept alone in a child's room, his left ankle chained.

On October 24, her jailer, who called himself Muhammad, removed her chains and left her in the bathroom. He then dragged her into a room at gunpoint and “forced me at gunpoint to commit sexual acts,” said the prosecutor, who was acquitted on Nov. 30.

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Israeli officials said 250 people were kidnapped in Israel on October 7, 130 of whom are still being held hostage in Gaza, and 34 of whom have died.

A UN report released in early March noted that members of Hamas engaged in sexual violence during the October 7 attack. The Islamic group has denied the allegations.

Israel's war against Hamas was triggered after attacks by the Palestinian Islamist movement on Israeli soil on October 7, 2023, in which approximately 1,200 people were killed and more than two hundred were kidnapped.

Israeli retaliation has already killed more than 32,000 people in the Gaza Strip, according to figures from Hamas-controlled health officials.

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