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Israeli-French hostage recounts harrowing expertise in captivity

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JERUSALEM — An Israeli lady who just lately returned from captivity within the Gaza Strip says she was groped by her Palestinian kidnapper and lived in fixed concern all through the weeks she was held hostage.

Mia Schem, a 21-year-old twin citizen of Israel and France, was attending a music pageant in southern Israel when Hamas militants burst throughout the border and raided the occasion website on Oct. 7. Greater than 300 folks have been killed and dozens taken hostage.

She was launched on Nov. 30 throughout a weeklong cease-fire.

In an interview broadcast Friday on Israel’s Channel 13 TV, Schem mentioned she was captured after she received out her good friend’s burning automobile. She mentioned her captor started touching her higher physique inappropriately and solely stopped after she screamed and he observed that she had been shot within the arm and badly wounded.

“I began screaming, going loopy,” she mentioned. “There have been burnt autos, our bodies.”

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Whereas in captivity, she was held in a home with a household and watched across the clock by the daddy, Schem mentioned. She mentioned his fixed staring made her uncomfortable and fearful that he may attempt to hurt her. The person’s spouse didn’t like her and generally denied her food for days at a time, she mentioned.

Israeli authorities have mentioned that sexual violence was a part of the Hamas rampage into southern Israel, and so they accused the worldwide neighborhood of enjoying down or ignoring the ache of the victims.

The Related Press typically doesn’t determine victims of sexual violence, however Schem spoke out publicly about her expertise.

Schem made worldwide headlines when Hamas launched a video of her in captivity days after she was taken hostage. Within the video, she lay in mattress as somebody bandaged her proper arm, and she or he says she needs to go residence. On the time, it was the primary signal of life from the hostages.

Schem mentioned she barely slept throughout her time as a hostage as a result of she was so terrified, and that she additionally didn’t bathe or obtain any medicines. She mentioned her captor’s kids often got here in to take a look at her “like I am some animal in a petting zoo.”

Schem mentioned she was taken from the house right into a tunnel and held with different hostages throughout her closing days in captivity.

Throughout this time, she mentioned she knew she would quickly be launched. Schem mentioned she was stored with six or seven folks in a small room and obtained only one piece of pita bread a day. She mentioned she feels responsible due to the opposite hostages she left behind.

Schem broke down in the course of the interview, saying she nonetheless has not come to phrases along with her return as she processes the ordeal. “I can’t get it out of my head,” she mentioned.



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