Kamala Harris screens film about Hamas' sexual violence on Oct. 7: 'Bloodied Israeli women abducted'

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a meeting with members of the Democratic Texas State Senate and Texas House of Representatives in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 16, 2021.
US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during a meeting with members of the Democratic Texas State Senate and Texas House of Representatives in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC on June 16, 2021. | MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Kamala Harris urged Hamas to accept a U.S.-backed ceasefire proposal during a screening hosted at the White House of a documentary depicting the sexual violence and rapes the terror group committed against women on Oct. 7. 

On Monday, Harris hosted survivors and experts at the White House to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict and condemn the use of sexual violence as a tactic in war.

One of the survivors who attended the event was Amit Soussana, an Israeli lawyer and the first former hostage to publicly describe the sexual assault she endured while she was held captive in Gaza.

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“The Vice President spent her career as a prosecutor working to protect women and girls from violence,” the White House said in a Monday statement. “As Vice President, she has continued this leadership globally, working to ensure that CRSV — and promoting the status of women and girls — remains at the forefront of our national security policymaking.

The Jerusalem Post reports that Harris screened former Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's film "Screams Before Silence" and spoke to Soussana, who the vice president said “has bravely come forward with her account of sexual violence while she was held captive by Hamas.” 

“We cannot look away, and we will not be silent," Harris said during her remarks. She added that her “heart breaks for all these survivors and their families and for all the pain and suffering from the past eight months in Israel and in Gaza.”

Harris fears there will be more testimonies describing sexual assaults as more hostages are released. 

Thanking Sandberg for creating the documentary, Harris said that she saw images after Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack of “bloodied Israeli women abducted” and how it later came to light that Hamas committed rape and gang rape at the Nova Music Festival

“And women’s bodies were found naked from the waist down, hands tied behind their back and shot in the head,” Harris said. 

One survivor of the festival recounted in a December interview with The Sunday Times, UK, that Hamas terrorists raped multiple women and beheaded one girl with a shovel after she resisted. The man said that he still sees some of the faces of those women in his nightmares.

Soussana, a former hostage interviewed for Sandberg’s film, said at the vice president’s event that being “in captivity means having no control over your mind, body, or soul.” 

“You have absolutely no control over what happens to you,” she said. “All your basic human rights are taken from you. Even your feelings are completely controlled by someone else.”

On Oct. 7, Soussana was abducted from her home in southern Israel during Hamas’ surprise attack.

In an interview with The New York Times earlier this year, she recalled being held in a child's bedroom and chained by her ankle. According to Soussana, a guard whom she knew as Muhammad would often force her to perform sexual acts at gunpoint.

“The sexual assault I experienced should never happen to any human being under any circumstances. No one should ever be sexually violated, and there are no justifying circumstances for these crimes,” Soussana said. 

Soussana said she does not see herself as a victim, declaring she is “a strong, independent woman, and no one can change that.” While she conceded that her captivity and assault would “always be a part of [her] story,” she expressed hope that her trauma would one day subside. 

Hamas, a terror group that has controlled the Gaza Strip since 2007, has denied that its members are responsible for a massive wave of sexual violence on Oct. 7. In early March, a United Nations special interest group announced that it had found evidence to support the allegation that Hamas committed mass sexual violence. 

"In the context of the coordinated attack by Hamas and others of 7 October, the U.N. mission team found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred in multiple locations, including rape and gang rape in at least three locations in southern Israel," the U.N. special group stated in a March 4 statement.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.