Gal Abdush’s Controversial NYT Story: Backlash Over Allegations of Hamas Weaponizing Sexual Violence

Last Updated on January 2, 2024, 6:35 am

Gal Abdush ‘A Woman in Black Dress’: The New York Times story on How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on October 7 Receives backlash for lack of evidence
Hamas Releases Statement Denying All Allegations, Calls it Zionist Propaganda and Attempts to Justify the War Crimes.

Gal Abdush ‘A Woman in Black Dress’
Gal Abdush (Image via Facebook)

The New York Times has published a story detailing how Hamas weaponized sexual violence on October 7. The report alleged that Hamas methodically utilized grave sexual offences in the massacre on October 7, 2023. The prestigious American magazine released a collection of survivor’s testimonies provided to them by Israeli officials.

What happened to Gal Abdush?

Gal Abdush, a 34-year-old Israeli woman, was found lying on her back in a black dress with her legs spread and face burnt beyond recognition along Highway 232 near Gaza. Times sources Israeli police officials said they believed she had been raped. The Times also cited seven locations where Israeli women were allegedly raped and mutilated, according to testimonies from four witnesses provided by Israeli officials, who described seeing rape, hearing screams, and murder. As per reports, more than 30 bodies of women were found near the Nova music festival. NYT story alleging Hamas brutality reportedly took two months in the making.

How did the world react?

The story received mixed reactions from the world. The graphical details of brutality incited sympathy for the victims and their families. Gal Abdush’s story became the symbol of solidarity for the Israel supporters.

On the other hand, more sceptical readers quickly noticed a lack of evidence to support the claims. Some experts suggested that the victims lying on the ground with their legs spread was the result of air strikes in which victims fell on the ground in such a manner due to explosions. They also pointed out the report, which noted that many bodies from October 7 were quickly buried without examination. The lack of physical evidence has stirred up a storm of discussion online.

How did Hamas react?

Hamas political bureau member Dr Bassem Naim released a statement calling reports published by NYT titled “Screams Without Words: How Hamas Used Sexual Violence as a Weapon on October 7” alleging rape and sexual violence by Palestinian soldiers ‘misleading’.

“We categorically deny these allegations and consider them part of a Zionist attempt to demonize the resistance and justify the war crimes of genocide committed by the Zionist enemy against our Palestinian people everywhere,” said Naim.

He said the author of the NYT story, Jeffrey Gettleman, relied solely on the ‘statements from Zionist government officials.’ He also criticized the story for the lack of evidence. He pointed out that the allegations of NYT contradict the testimonies ‘given by many “Israeli” women, who spoke about the good treatment they received from Palestinian fighters on October 7.”

“These women spoke to “Israeli” media without mentioning any of the claims made by The New York Times,” he said.
He also mentioned that the testimonies of all the women detained in the Gaza Strip indicated “high humanitarian values they observed in the fighters throughout the time.”

He said the Al-Aqsa Food operation did not last more than a few hours, after which the fighters withdrew from the Israeli military sites. He also said that they “welcome international investigative committees into the incident” and challenged the entity (Israel) to “welcome these committees or go to international and UN courts if it bases its narrative on any factual evidence.”

He also criticized The New York Times for overlooking testimonies of Palestinian female prisoners who were abducted from Gaza and the West Bank, claiming “verbal and physical sexual harassment by the Zionist army.”

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