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Israeli Hostage Says She Was Sexually Assaulted and Tortured in Gaza

The New York Times [upaywalled]: “…Ms. Soussana, 40, is the first Israeli to speak publicly about being sexually assaulted during captivity after the Hamas-led raid on southern Israel. In her interviews with The Times, conducted mostly in English, she provided extensive details of sexual and other violence she suffered during a 55-day ordeal. Ms. Soussana’s personal account of her experience in captivity is consistent with what she told two doctors and a social worker less than 24 hours after she was freed on Nov. 30. Their reports about her account state the nature of the sexual act; The Times agreed not to disclose the specifics. Ms. Soussana described being detained in roughly half a dozen sites, including private homes, an office and a subterranean tunnel. Later in her detention, she said, a group of captors suspended her across the gap between two couches and beat her For months, Hamas and its supporters have denied that its members sexually abused people in captivity or during the Oct. 7 terrorist attack. This month, a United Nations report said that there was “clear and convincing information” that some hostages had suffered sexual violence and there were “reasonable grounds” to believe sexual violence occurred during the raid, while acknowledging the “challenges and limitations” of examining the issue. After being released along with 105 other hostages during a cease-fire in late November, Ms. Soussana spoke only in vague terms publicly about her treatment in the Gaza Strip, wary of recounting such a traumatic experience. When filmed by Hamas minutes before being freed, she said, she pretended to have been treated well to avoid jeopardizing her release…”

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