An Israeli military spokesman expressed serious concern over the sexual abuses Israeli hostages kidnapped by Hamas are enduring, as reports of such assaults emerge from recently freed captives and the doctors treating them.
In remarks made Tuesday, IDF International Spokesman Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said the Israeli army is “absolutely” concerned about sexual violence against hostages.
His comments come amid firsthand accounts shared recently by freed captives at a meeting with Israeli officials, after several have shared testimonies of sexual abuse during their captivity in Gaza.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a press conference of the allegations after meeting with families of returned hostages.
“I heard stories that broke my heart, I heard about the thirst and hunger, about physical and mental abuse,” he said concerning the Israelis in Hamas captivity. “I heard and you also heard, about sexual assault and cases of brutal rape unlike anything.”
At least 10 Israeli civilians, both men and women, were sexually assaulted or abused by Hamas terrorists during their captivity following the October 7 massacre, according to a report from the the Associated Press, which spoke with a doctor who treated some of the 110 released hostages.
Another physician treating freed Hamas hostages in Israel says survivors suffer from an unprecedented level of “extremely severe psychological abuse” endured during their captivity.
“I can tell you that on behalf of all the medical and psychological teams treating those who return, the mental states we encountered have no precedent in medical literature. We feel that we have to rewrite the textbooks of post-trauma,” Dr. Renana Eitan told Fox News.
“Those held captive were subject to starvation, to beating, to sexual abuse,” she stated.
On Monday, the U.S. State Department suggested that Hamas’s attempt to hide sexual violence it perpetrated against captive women may have been the deciding factor behind the terrorist organization’s decision to break the ceasefire Friday and discontinue the release of female hostages.
President Joe Biden concurred that Hamas’s refusal to release additional female hostages brought about an end to the ceasefire.
The previous day, Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) appeared to deflect criticism of rape and sexual violence by Palestinian Hamas terrorists against Israeli women in its October 7 terror attack, saying Israeli misdeeds had to be considered.
— Chaya Raichik (@ChayaRaichik10) December 3, 2023
On Friday, after Hamas breached the ceasefire truce, Netanyahu said the terror group had not “met its obligation to release all of the women hostages,” while also launching rockets at Israeli citizens.
US State Department spokesman Mathew Miller said today that the reason Hamas refused to release these 17 female hostages is because the terror group didn't want these women to talk about what they went through while in captivity in Gaza. pic.twitter.com/TFoOTC73cA
— Marina Medvin 🇺🇸 (@MarinaMedvin) December 4, 2023
Concerns about Hamas’s treatment of female hostages, including sexual violence, continue to be raised, as Israeli authorities investigate substantial allegations of rape and sexual assault related to the October 7 massacre, having collected over 1,500 testimonies — including those of gang rape and post-mortem mutilation.
As Breitbart News reported, there is ample evidence of sexual violence against Israeli women on October 7, with more details emerging as the ongoing investigation into sexual assault during the attack continues. Eyewitness accounts and video evidence suggest instances of rape, extreme violence, and abuse of victims, both living and deceased.
Just when you think it can't get worse. A Hamas terrorist admits their true motive for kidnapping women and children — rape. pic.twitter.com/tk8BgfG1R9
— Hananya Naftali (@HananyaNaftali) October 11, 2023
No survivors of alleged rapes have been interviewed, and forensic evidence collection has been hampered by ongoing conflict, delayed body recovery, and severe mutilation of some victims. Israeli police unit Lahav 433 is investigating, planning to release evidence during the largest criminal trial in Israeli history.
During a fundraiser in Boston on Tuesday, President Biden noted reports of women “repeatedly raped, and their bodies being mutilated while still alive; [and] of women corpses being desecrated, Hamas terrorists inflicting as much pain and suffering on women and girls as possible and then murdering them.”
“It is appalling,” he added.
Meanwhile, far-left pro-Palestinian activists continue in their attempts to deny that Israeli women were assaulted and raped during the October 7 terror attack, claiming such accusations justify what they term the “genocide” of Palestinians.
The matter comes as clips of Professor Suad Saleh of the Al-Azhar University in Cairo have gone viral in recent weeks.
In them, the theology professor is seen declaring that Muslims who capture women during battle may own them and have sex with them as their personal slavegirls.
Those naive Westerners who think Hamas could never have raped Israeli women, what will it take for you to open your eyes?
These people say it themselves. Raping captive women is 100% Halal in Islam. Quran 4:24 sanctions it. Prophet Muhammad himself had many sex slaves. pic.twitter.com/eiociAuQ28
— Harris Sultan (@TheHarrisSultan) November 6, 2023
“In order to humiliate them,” she says, “they become the property of the army commander, or of a Muslim, and he can have sex with them just like he has sex with his wives.”
Hamas, the Islamist terror group which has ruled the Gaza Strip for nearly two decades, bases its legal system on a strict interpretation of Islamic law (Sharia) under which the treatment of women captives of war are governed.
Israel has repeatedly equated Hamas with the ISIS terror organization, referencing the Palestinian Islamist group’s brutal massacre in Israel — the deadliest against Jewish people since the Nazi Holocaust — which saw the torture, rape, execution, immolation, and abduction of hundreds of Israelis of all ages, mostly civilians, and dozens of Americans.
The official X account of the Embassy of Israel to the United States even highlighted the treatment of American hostage Kayla Mueller, who was captured by ISIS in 2013, in one post.
— Embassy of Israel to the USA | #IsraelUSA75 (@IsraelinUSA) October 24, 2023
The Daily Mail reported that, according to the testimony of a young Yazidi sex slave, ISIS terrorists ripped off Mueller’s fingernails before she was forced to convert to Islam and become the wife of leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was later eliminated by the order of then-President Donald Trump.
ABC News reported that after al-Baghdadi took her as his “wife,” he repeatedly raped her, even in front of the Yazidi sex slaves.
“She was afraid and she didn’t resist as he would beat her,” the young girl explained. “I saw him rape her three or four times and they told us that anybody who runs away, including Kayla, would be killed… Kayla did not know she was the Caliph, but she knew he was important. When Kayla returned in the morning she was crying and said she’d been raped.”