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Freed hostages reveal the scope of atrocities and abuse against women by Hamas terrorists

Aviva Sigal witnessed abuse and torture during her captivity

Released Israeli hostage Aviva Sigal attends the lobby for releasing the remaining hostages in the Gaza Strip, at the Knesset, Jerusalem, Jan. 9, 2024. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Testimonies by Israelis who were taken as hostages into the Gaza Strip and were later freed continue to reveal the horrific scope of atrocities and abuse visited upon the Israeli hostages in the hands of Hamas.

Aviva Sigal (62) was kidnapped from Kfar Aza to the Gaza Strip together with her husband Keith (64), who is still being held captive by Hamas.

Aviva was released on Nov. 26 as part of the hostage negotiation deal between Hamas and Israel.

On Tuesday, Sigal gave a shocking testimony which was widely reported in Israeli media during the first meeting of the 'Lobby for the Abducted' in the Israeli Knesset, which was established by Knesset members Boaz Bismuth of the Likud party and Shelly Tal Meron of Yesh Atid).

In the presence of former hostages, family members, ambassadors and other Knesset members, Sigal sounded the alarm about the fate of the young women remaining in captivity.

“There were millions of cases, I could talk about it for a week,” Sigal began the recollection of the horrific abuse she went through and witnessed during her 51 days in the Gaza Strip.

The terrorists held Sigal together with several young women, most of them IDF soldiers captured from the bases that were overrun by Hamas on Oct. 7.

“One of the girls returned after she went to the bathroom for a moment to pee and I saw on her face that she was upset. So I got up and hugged her and he [the terrorist] came in and I told her I love her… but we were not allowed to hug.”

Families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza and Knesset members at the lobby for releasing the remaining hostages in the Gaza Strip, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Jan. 9, 2024. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

At this point, Sigal said, she understood that something had gone wrong when the young woman went to the bathroom.

“I saw that she shut down and was quiet and that’s not her. And forgive me, I’m going to say bad words, but this son of a bitch touched her. And he wouldn’t even let me hug her after it happened. It’s terrible, just terrible. I told her I was sorry.”

In another incident, Sigal witnessed the terrorists torturing a young woman because they suspected that she was an IDF officer.

“They tortured her next to me. And I am a witness to it. I am a witness to what is happening there. What is happening there is simply a catastrophe. It is impossible to continue. I’ve been talking here for a minute or two, and I’m saying so much.”

Sigal implored the gathered politicians to do something to give the hostages and their family members some semblance of hope.

“I want to stand here on the table, if I had the courage, and scream for them. For all the abductees out there, but I won’t do it because I’m a cultured person. They [the terrorists] are not civilized, they are not humane.”

Liora Argamani, mother of Noa Argamani who was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip attends the lobby for releasing the remaining hostages in the Gaza Strip, at the Knesset in Jerusalem, Jan. 9, 2024. (Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Gabriela Leimberg, who returned from captivity in the fifth round of the hostage release deal, along with her daughter Mia and sister Clara, also spoke at the Knesset hearing.

“We spent 53 days in hell in Hamas captivity, my brother Fernando and my sister’s partner Luis are still there…When we were there, we held on to the belief that our people would do everything to free the hostages. The mission is not yet completed, 136 more abductees are in the most horrible place possible,” she said.

“I ask all members of the Knesset and Prime Minister Netanyahu to do everything to release them as soon as possible and reach a deal now,” Leimberg added.

The testimonies of Sigal and Leimberg join many other horrible recent revelations by freed hostages about the scope of the suffering and abuse they went through, including stories of rape, severe sexual abuse and torture.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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