An Israeli woman who was released from Gaza on Nov. 26 after 51 days in Hamas captivity says that three hostages told her that they were sexually abused.
“We heard three stories from a first-hand source and another story that was told to us. Things that happened a few weeks after the stay in Gaza [began]. They are physically injured. With the way they sexually assaulted them and desecrated their bodies—they don’t know how they will cope,” Chen Goldstein-Almog, 48, told Kan Bet in an interview that aired on Monday.
“If they had released them earlier it would have spared them. We also saw a guy who was beaten,” she added.
Goldstein-Almog and her children Tal, 9, Gal, 11, and Agam, 17, were kidnapped from their home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza during the Oct. 7 massacre. Chen’s husband, Nadav, 48, and their daughter Yam, 20, were murdered on that day.
Israel is investigating many accounts of rapes and sexual abuse that occurred during the Oct. 7 assault on the northwestern Negev, when thousands of heavily armed Hamas gunmen stormed the border, killing 1,200 people, wounding more than 5,000 others and taking approximately 240 hostages back to Gaza.
At least 10 of the hostages released during the temporary ceasefire were sexually assaulted or abused, a doctor who treated some of the 110 persons released from captivity told the Associated Press.