US Official: Hamas Keeps Hostages to Hide Sexual Abuse

A State Department official on Monday said that Hamas is refusing to release women and children who were taken hostage to keep them from testifying about sexual violence they experienced.

State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said during a press conference that Hamas is at fault for ending a cease-fire with Israel without releasing some hostages.

“The fact that it seems one of the reasons they don’t want to turn women over, that they’ve been holding hostage, and the reason this pause fell apart, is they don’t want those women to be able to talk about what happened to them during their time in custody,” Miller said in a response to a question about evidence of rape and sexual abuse being committed by Hamas on Oct. 7.

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