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Outrageous lie: Israeli hostages in Gaza “left happy and laughing” – they received “generous treatment” – PA TV interview

Itamar Marcus  |
  • Released Israeli hostages reveal Hamas’ sexual abuse, torture, and beatings
  • PA TV features an interview denying atrocities to hostages

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Recently, an Israeli woman aged 40 who was held hostage by Hamas revealed that she was sexually assaulted by her captor. And she is not the only one. Other hostages have also testified about sexual abuse, torture, and beatings while being held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.


As more testimonies from Israeli hostages who were freed last November after almost two months in Hamas captivity are being published, the war of narratives has become urgent.


The Palestinian and Arab narrative is entirely fictitious and is intended to humanize Hamas and deny its atrocities. One example is this outrageous claim made to official PA TV by a lecturer at Cairo University that the Israeli hostages received “generous treatment” and left captivity “happy and laughing”:

Head of Radio and TV Department at Cairo University’s Faculty of Mass Communications Ashraf Jalal: “The generous treatment Palestine gave the Israeli prisoners (i.e., kidnapped women and children) caused an enormous positive response, because after [the Israelis] lied and said that [Hamas] is abusing them, the [Israeli] people left [Gaza] happy and laughing… What is required is that we redirect the media spotlight to this issue.”

[Official PA TV, From Cairo, Feb. 12, 2024]

This brazen lie follows those made by senior PA officials, which have been documented by Palestinian Media Watch. In November 2023, Minister Qadura Fares, who is the director of the PLO Commission of Prisoners' Affairs, said that Israel "made up this story and said: They [the Palestinians] raped, killed, and burned" [Official PA TV, Nov. 20, 2023]. In December 2023, PLO Executive Committee member and PLF Secretary-General Wasel Abu Yusuf said: “Since October 7, there has been a Zionist version that [Israel] has attempted to spread worldwide out of tendentious propaganda, [claiming] that there was murder of children, rape of women, crimes, and the like” [Official PA TV, Topic of the Day, Dec. 3, 2023].


Freed Israeli hostages have reported that they were sexually abused, tortured, beaten, and starved. The question is: why is it so important for the PA, Hamas, and their supporters to deny the sexual abuse? Certainly, kidnapping and holding civilians as hostages is by itself a horrific crime, but these they are not denying.


According to the values of the world’s antisemites and Israel haters, however, had Hamas “only” kidnapped and not sexually abused civilians, the events of October 7 would easily have been hailed as a successful “resistance operation.” It is only the sexual abuse, which in 2024 in some circles is a crime worse than murder, that makes it difficult for them to publicly support the kidnappings. By denying the sexual abuse and claiming the hostages left their prison “happy and laughing,” the antisemites around the world can celebrate Hamas’ atrocities without being looked down upon by many of their contemporaries and colleagues who welcome the murder and kidnapping of Israelis as legitimate but have trouble accepting the rape of women.


Hamas war on Israel October 2023 - At least 1,200 Israelis, including over 1,000 civilians, were murdered and over 4,800 wounded, in addition to approximately 244 who were abducted into the Gaza Strip (including 110 later released or liberated and at least 26 later killed), in a Hamas terror war that began when approximately 3,000 Hamas terrorists broke through Israel's security fence at the Gaza Strip border and launched a surprise attack, taking control of several Israeli towns and attacking a music festival on the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, which fell on the Sabbath, Oct. 7, 2023. During the massacre, the terrorists tortured, raped, shot, beheaded, and burned their victims alive, murdering entire families and leaving at least 21 children without parents. Hamas terrorists also fired at least 5,000 rockets at Israeli population centers. In response, Israel launched the Swords of Iron War to counter the Hamas terror threat. Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon joined Hamas' terror war starting from the following day, attacking Israel from the north. Occasional rocket launches and shootings continued from Lebanon throughout the war. A ceasefire and prisoner exchange deal began on Nov. 24, 2023, in which Israel agreed to release 150 terrorist prisoners, pause drone surveillance in the Gaza Strip, and allow movement between the northern and southern Gaza Strip, in return for 50 Israeli female and child hostages held by Hamas. The deal was subsequently extended with additional releases, until Hamas violated the agreement and resumed attacking on Dec. 1, 2023.

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