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French-Israeli hostage released by Hamas says she fears being raped in captivity

An Israeli-French hostage freed by Hamas said in an interview broadcast Friday that she feared being raped while held captive in her captor’s family home in the Gaza Strip.

Mia Shem, a 21-year-old tattoo artist, was among 250 people taken hostage during Hamas attacks on southern Israel on October 7.

Shem said his “biggest fear” in captivity was rape.

“There was a fear of rape, a fear of dying,” Shem said in an interview with Israel’s Channel 13.

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Shem said she was being held at the home of one of her captors.

“His wife was outside the room with the children. That’s the only reason he didn’t rape me,” Shem accused, adding that her captor didn’t take his eyes off her.

Shem was kidnapped from the site of a rave party in the desert called Supernova Festival and was released in late November as part of a truce agreement.

During her captivity, Shem said she was kept “in a dark room” and “forbidden” to speak.

Wounded by a gunshot during her kidnapping, she claims to not take “any painkillers”.

More than two months after Hamas’ bloody attack on Israel, stories of sexual violence are multiplying.

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Israeli officials have reiterated allegations that militants who crossed the border from Gaza on October 7 committed violent gang rapes and genital mutilation, and engaged in sexual acts with children and corpses.

But the scarcity of survivor testimonies and the lack of forensic evidence make it difficult to assess their scale.

Around 250 hostages were taken to Gaza by Hamas militants when they attacked southern Israel on October 7.

The attack left around 1,140 people dead, according to an Agence France-Presse tally based on Israeli figures.

Some 129 hostages remain in captivity in Gaza.

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