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Inside the Horrors: Israeli Female Soldiers Held as Slaves by Hamas in Gaza Villas

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Inside the Horrors: Israeli Female Soldiers Held as Slaves by Hamas in Gaza Villas

Edited by:  Fern Sidman

The capture and imprisonment of Israeli female soldiers by Hamas on October 7th has shed light on the harrowing experiences faced by these young women. The heart-wrenching account of Shira Albag, mother of 19-year-old Liri Albag, highlights the severe human rights violations inflicted upon these captives.

Liri Albag was among the many Israeli soldiers kidnapped by Hamas on October 7. Her mother, Shira Albag, has been desperately seeking information about her daughter’s condition. According to a New York Post report, Shira recently spoke with Noa Argamani, a newly rescued hostage, who provided a grim picture of the captives’ lives. According to Noa, Liri and other female soldiers were treated as slaves. As per The Post report, they were forced to clean, cook, and perform various domestic tasks in luxurious villas where they were initially held. The hostages had to prepare food they were not permitted to eat and maintain the pristine conditions of their captors’ living spaces.

The use of captives as forced labor in luxury settings adds a grotesque twist to their suffering. These villas, likely intended to flaunt wealth and power, became prisons where the basic dignity and autonomy of the female soldiers were stripped away, as was described in The Post report.  Shira Albag’s statement emphasized the cruel irony of the situation – the hostages were surrounded by opulence yet deprived of basic human rights and sustenance.

As the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) advanced into Gaza, the hostages were moved from the villas to Hamas’ underground tunnel network. This shift marked a drastic deterioration in their living conditions. The tunnels, notorious for their cramped and unsanitary conditions, became the new holding area for the captives. Shira Albag described the tunnels as a place with “no fresh water, and not much food,” according to The Post report. The female soldiers were deprived of clean clothes and had to endure a month-long wait before being allowed to shower. This environment not only exacerbated their physical suffering but also inflicted severe psychological trauma.

The emotional anguish of the hostages is palpable. Freed hostages reported that the female captives collectively cried on the 50th day of their captivity, expressing a deep longing for their mothers, the Post report said. This detail, shared by Shira Albag, highlights the profound isolation and despair felt by these young women. The absence of familial comfort and the constant fear of their uncertain fate contributed to a devastating emotional toll.

On October 7, a video surfaced depicting the horrific aftermath of Hamas’s assault on the Nahal Oz base, just outside the Gaza Strip. The footage, which sent shockwaves through the international community, showed five female soldiers, including Liri, in a state of utter helplessness, as per the information provided in The Post report.  The women, still in their pajamas, were handcuffed and pressed against a wall, surrounded by the bodies of their fallen comrades. The report in The Post also said that the terrorists in the video were seen celebrating their gruesome attack, gloating, and even announcing their intention to sexually assault the captured soldiers.

Liri Albag and the other female soldiers in the video are among approximately 120 hostages who have remained in Gaza for over eight months. The conditions of their captivity are dire, with reports of forced labor, inadequate food, and unsanitary living conditions.

Shira Albag, reflecting on her daughter’s suffering, stated, “I don’t want to imagine what they’re going through now,” The Post reported. This sentiment echoes the collective anguish of the families whose loved ones remain in captivity. The hostages, deprived of basic necessities and subjected to constant fear, face a bleak existence.

As the war drags on, the fate of the hostages remains uncertain. While Israeli authorities believe that more than 70 of the hostages are still alive, conflicting statements from Hamas officials add to the confusion and despair, as was explained in The Post report. Osama Hamdan, a top Hamas official, claimed that “no one has any idea” how many hostages are still alive, casting a shadow of doubt and fear over the families waiting for news.

The treatment of the female soldiers captured by Hamas constitutes a severe breach of international humanitarian law. The forced labor, threats of sexual violence, and inhumane living conditions violate multiple human rights conventions.

 

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