Former captive describes Hamas guard’s sexual abuse in new footage

In new filmed testimony from upcoming Oct. 7 documentary, Amit Soussana recalls sense of doom while chained in dark Gaza room before captor forced himself on her

Freed hostage Amit Soussana speaks about Hamas's sexual abuse in a segment published April 3, 2024, from the upcoming documentary 'Screams Before Silence,' produced by Kastina Communications. (Screen capture: X/Israel Hayom, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)
Freed hostage Amit Soussana speaks about Hamas's sexual abuse in a segment published April 3, 2024, from the upcoming documentary 'Screams Before Silence,' produced by Kastina Communications. (Screen capture: X/Israel Hayom, used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

An Israeli held in Gaza, who in March became the first former hostage to speak publicly about the sexual abuse she suffered while abducted, detailed advances by her captors and the dire circumstances of her captivity in a short clip published Wednesday.

In filmed testimony, Amit Soussana, a lawyer snatched from her home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza by Hamas terrorists on October 7, said she was tied up in the dark for extended periods and lived with the constant fear of being raped by her guards, during nearly two months in captivity.

“I was chained for three weeks in Gaza. I was kept in a really dark room without being able to move. And whenever I needed to go and use the bathroom, I needed to ask for permission,” she recounted in footage published Wednesday.

The three-minute clip is an excerpt from “Screams Before Silence,” an upcoming documentary about Hamas’s sexual crimes on and after October 7, when thousands of the terror group’s operatives stormed southern Israel, killing nearly 1,200 people, taking over 250 hostages, and committing other atrocities, as they rampaged through Israeli communities for hours.

Amit Soussana seen fighting against Hamas kidnappers dragging her into Gaza on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot used in accordance with clause 27a of the copyright law)

On October 7, Soussana, who was freed as part of a November prisoner swap after 55 days as a hostage, could be seen in security camera footage fighting tooth and nail with her captors.

“There were 10 men around me,” she recalled in the newly published video. “The feeling like they’re taking me, like I’m some kind of object… I couldn’t stand it. My instinct was just to fight, to do what I can.”

An IDF soldier stands amid destruction caused by Hamas terrorists in Kibbutz Kfar Aza, near the Gaza border, October 15, 2023. (Chaim Goldberg/Flash90)

“I was really scared that they’re going to rape me there and they’re going drag me through Gaza’s streets and parade my body around, so I feared that more than being killed,” she added.

In Gaza, Soussana said she was guarded by a man whom she identified as Muhammad, who “used to sit on the bed, in front of me, wearing his shorts, lying down.”

“I remember I couldn’t look at him,” she said, “I was just looking away and covering myself with the blanket so I wouldn’t have to look at him. It made me feel really uncomfortable.”

Muhammad, said Soussana, was insistently inquisitive about her sex life. “Whenever he talked about it, I just like giggled and said, ‘Oh, come on, stop, stop,’ trying to change the subject.”

“I knew that he is up to something. I knew that something bad is going to happen,” she added.

“[O]ne day Muhammad came and gave me women’s sanitary pads,” she says in the video. He told her that after her period, “you’ll take a shower and you’ll wash your clothes. And he kept repeating that a couple of times a day.”

To forestall her captor’s sexual advances, Soussana said, she fooled him into thinking her period lasted longer than it really did, until she could no longer keep the ruse going.

“He untied me and took me to the kitchen and showed me a pot, and I remember thinking, ‘How can I avoid that? There is nothing I can do,'” Soussana said.

Amit Soussana (in purple), released by Hamas on November 30, 2023, is reunited with mother and sister at Wolfson Medical Center. (Courtesy: Wolfson)

Soussana first spoke publicly about her ordeal in an interview with The New York Times published March 26, in which she recounted being forced, at gunpoint, to commit sexual acts for Muhammad.

She recounted him bringing her the pot of boiling water to shower, and then advancing on her in the bathroom, where she tried to resist, before being beaten and dragged to a child’s bedroom, where she was sexually assaulted.

In March, the United Nations published a report indicating that rape and gang rape likely occurred during the October 7 Hamas terror onslaught, and said that there is “clear and convincing” evidence showing that hostages were raped while being held in Gaza, and that those currently held captive are still facing such abuse.

Amit Soussana speaks to journalists at Kibbutz Kfar Azza on January 29, 2024. (Paulina Patimer/ Hostages and Missing Families Forum)

President Isaac Herzog praised Soussana for her testimony in late March, stating that she “speaks for all those who cannot speak,” in a post on X.

“She speaks for all the victims of Hamas’s despicable sexual crimes and abuse. She speaks for all women everywhere. The whole world has the moral duty to stand with Amit — and all the victims — in condemning Hamas’s brutal terror, and in demanding the immediate return of all the hostages,” he wrote.

The New York Times said Soussana’s account of what happened was consistent with reports viewed by the newspaper that she gave to medical professionals and a social worker immediately following her release.

Dr. Julia Barda, the social worker who spoke to Soussana upon her release, told the newspaper that she “spoke immediately, fluently and in detail, not only about her sexual assault, but also about the many other ordeals she experienced.”

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