Israeli hostage recalls horrific sexual assault by Hamas captor, becoming first to speak

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An Israeli lawyer taken hostage by Hamas was routinely beaten and sexually assaulted by her captors during her 55 days in captivity, a bombshell report revealed.

Amit Soussana, 40, is the first Israeli hostage to publicly speak about the abuse she suffered, which started just days after she was taken prisoner in Hamas’ deadly Oct. 7 attack and invasion of Israel.

Her captor had unchained her from the bed for what she thought was to allow her to take a bath when things took a violent turn, she recalled.

Amit Soussana was sexually assaulted by a Hamas guard just days after she was abducted in the Oct. 7 attack. REUTERS

“He came towards me and shoved the gun at my forehead,” Soussana told the New York Times in a report published Tuesday.

The soldier — identified only as “Muhammad” — forced her to shower and then dragged her into a children’s bedroom adorned with Spongebob Squarepants decorations, where she said he sexually assaulted her.

“Then he, with the gun pointed at me, forced me to commit a sexual act on him,” she said.

Muhammad had been harassing Soussana since she was brought to her makeshift jail, her first detention stop since 10 men abducted her from her home in the Kibbutz Kfar Azza, located roughly 1.5 miles from the Gaza border.

Soussana was dragged from her Israel home and across the Gaza border by 10 Hamas soldiers. Israel Channel 12

The abduction was violent — with the soldiers relentlessly beating Soussana in an attempt to subdue her attempts at escape.

They brought her into a home in Gaza and chained her to the child’s bed where Muhammad would sit beside her, lift her shirt and grope her, she told the Times.

Muhammad — described as a chubby, balding man of average height with a wide nose — exclusively watched over Soussana in the early days of her captivity.

He slept in another room, but frequently walked into hers in his underwear, asking about her sex life and offering to massage her body, she said.

She also sustained a myriad of injuries, including fractures in her right eye socket, cheek, knee and nose and severe bruising on her knee and back. Israel Channel 12

When he took her to use the bathroom, he refused to let her shut the door.

The lawyer tried to fend off the abuse by lying about when her period would end, which he was seemingly fascinated with, she told the Times.

“Every day, he would ask: ‘Did you get your period? Did you get your period? When you get your period, when it will be over, you will wash, you will take a shower and you will wash your clothes,’” Soussana recalled.

On the morning of the assault, Muhammad insisted Susanna take a shower despite her protests that the water was too cold.

Soussana’s home was destroyed in the Oct. 7 attack. REUTERS

She was in the middle of washing herself when she heard his voice telling her to hurry up.

“I turned around and I saw him standing there,” she said. “With the gun.”

Soussana recalls trying to cover her naked body with a hand towel when he hit her and forced her to take it off.

“He sat me on the edge of the bath. And I closed my legs. And I resisted. And he kept punching me and put his gun in my face,” she said. “Then he dragged me to the bedroom.”

In the child’s bedroom, her captor forced her to commit the sex act, which the Times report did not specify.

After the abuse had ended, Muhammad showed remorse, begging her to “please don’t tell Israel.”

He initially offered her food in an attempt to reconcile for the disturbing act, but retaliated when she refused. He punished her by rejecting her wishes to open the bedroom curtains, leaving her shrouded in darkness until she accepted his offering.

“You can’t stand looking at him — but you have to: He’s the one who’s protecting you, he’s your guard,” Soussana said. “You’re there with him and you know that every moment it can happen again. You’re completely dependent on him.”

Soussana was moved to another hideout just days later and away from Muhammad, but the violence was far from over.

Hamas captors tied Soussana’s feet and handcuffed her hands before suspending her “like a chicken” across the gap between two couches and beat her.

REUTERS

She claims she was beaten by a slew of other guards over the next few weeks during her detainment in roughly half a dozen sites — including the infamous Hamas tunnels.

In one instance, a group of captors tied her feet and handcuffed her hands before suspending her “like a chicken” across the gap between two couches and beat her, she told the Times.

Soussana was finally released on Nov. 30, along with 105 other hostages during a cease-fire.

She reported the sexual assaults within days of her return, and has remained consistent with her accounts of the abuse she suffered, officials said.

Soussana was finally freed in November after spending 55 days in captivity, much of which was marked by relentless beatings. Getty Images

She also sustained a myriad of injuries, including fractures in her right eye socket, cheek, knee and nose and severe bruising on her knee and back.

A spokesman for Hamas tried to cast doubt on Soussana’s claims, stating the level of detail in her account makes “it difficult to believe the story, unless it was designed by some security officers.”

“For us, the human body, and especially that of the woman, is sacred,” spokesman Basem Naim told the Times in a statement, emphasizing Hamas’s religious beliefs “forbade any mistreatment of any human being, regardless of his sex, religion or ethnicity.”

While Soussana is the first to recount such horrifying abuse publicly, a United Nations report from earlier this month indicates that there is “clear and convincing information” that some hostages had suffered sexual violence.

About 130 hostages are still in Hamas custody as negotiations falter. About 32,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel’s retaliation and recovery efforts.



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