Amit Soussana
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“Then he, with the gun pointed at me, forced me to commit a sexual act on him,”

Amit 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.

Amit Soussana: I felt completely helpless and scared.
Amit Soussana in Israel in March, after she was released by Hamas.Credit…Avishag Shaar-Yashuv for The New York Times

“In captivity there is no control over the body and the soul. Everything is fragile”

Amit, who was recently released from captivity in Gaza, struggled with seven Hamas terrorists as she was being taken away from Israel on Oct. 7, according to newly released surveillance footage.

The footage, which Soussana allowed to be broadcast by Israel’s Channel 12, shows her struggling with her captors as she is taken away from Kfar Aza, one of the communities most affected by the Oct. 7 terrorist attack.

Amit Soussana
The footage, which Soussana allowed to be broadcast by Israel’s Channel 12, shows her struggling with her captors

Soussana is seen struggling with terrorists who try to cover her with a blanket, because female hostages were often captured in pajamas or underwear, and some Hamas terrorists did not want to offend other Palestinians by bringing a live naked woman into Gaza.
(However, the nearly naked corpse of Shani Louk, a German-Israeli woman, was driven through Gaza in the back of a truck.)

Time in captivity

“I kept struggling, but eventually they tied my hands and feet and dragged me along the ground,” she recalls of that fateful Saturday. “It took them over an hour to cross the border with me. I was severely beaten, with bruises covering my entire face and body.” Soussana said that Hamas fighters constantly transported her from one place to another under heavy guard. She was given very little food and was constantly monitored, even in the toilet. She suffered both physical and psychological abuse. She said she was kept in a tunnel 40 meters underground where it was difficult to breathe and felt like she was being “buried alive.” “The conditions in which we were held were inhumane. When you are held captive by Hamas, everything seems fragile. You are constantly on edge, the situation can deteriorate at any moment. We were not allowed to talk, cry or even comfort each other in difficult moments,” she shared. “I felt completely helpless and scared.”

Amit Soussana
Amit Soussana. Return from captivity.

Concern for the fate of the Hostages

“During the abduction, I was tied up and severely beaten. We were forbidden to communicate with other captives or provide any assistance. The physical and psychological horror I experienced was unimaginable,” she narrated.

She expressed her dismay for the remaining hostages still being held in the Gaza Strip, saying, “I can’t imagine what it would be like to be there for 115 days. Even the strongest people would have a hard time surviving for that long. Throughout the entire 55 days, I lived in constant fear and terror. Every moment felt like it could be my last. It seemed as if time had stopped. I pray that those who are still being held will find the strength to endure, but even the bravest souls would have a hard time making it through 115 days. I appeal to make every effort to bring them home, for their time is running out,” Amit pleads.
Amit Soussana, 40, was kidnapped on Oct. 7 in Gaza City and held by Hamas for 55 days. In an interview with Reuters, she described the hardships during her captivity, and the harsh treatment at the hands of her captors.

Amit Soussana
Amit Soussana #BringThemHomeNow

On October 7, Soussana was hiding in a closet in a secure room during the terror attack on her kibbutz. She managed to send a message to her family, writing, “I think they are here, please let this end.” She then went to the pantry, describing it as the most terrifying experience: gunshots rang out, her phone battery was dead. Her house was completely destroyed and the protected room was left in a charred state.

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