Female hostages continue to be held in Gaza. Fourteen of them are believed to be alive; five are dead but their bodies haven’t been returned to Israel, according to The Times of Israel. 

Negotiations are ongoing to free these women and over 100 men thought to be alive as hostages held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza. In November, Hamas agreed to release 105 hostages in a prisoner exchange with Israel. Most of those released were women and children. 

In a video shared on social media ahead of International Women’s Day on March 8, actor Gila Almagor, former Supreme Court of Israel President Dorit Beinisch, and other women call for the release of the hostages. 

The video surfaced the same day the United Nations released a report on its investigation into sexual violence during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel and perpetuated against hostages. 

Pramila Patten, the U.N.’s special representative for sexual violence in conflict, led a team to Israel and the West Bank for the two-week investigation. Patten and her team reviewed 5,000 photos and 50 hours of footage of Hamas terrorists’ attacks Oct. 7 in southern Israel, according to the U.N. report

The goal of the investigation was to identify potential instances or indications of sexual violence. So, what did the U.N. team find? 

“Based on the information it gathered, the mission team found clear and convincing information that sexual violence, including rape, sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment has been committed against hostages and has reasonable grounds to believe that such violence may be ongoing against those still held in captivity,” the report says. 

The report continues: 

In the context of the coordinated attack by Hamas and other armed groups against civilian and military targets throughout the Gaza periphery, the mission team found that there are reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred in multiple locations during the [Oct. 7] attacks, including rape and gang-rape in at least three locations, namely: the Nova music festival site and its surroundings, Road 232, and Kibbutz Re’im. In most of these incidents, victims first subjected to rape were then killed, and at least two incidents relate to the rape of women’s corpses.

The mission team also found a pattern of victims, mostly women, found fully or partially naked, bound, and shot across multiple locations. Although circumstantial, such a pattern may be indicative of some forms of sexual violence, including sexualized torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

The U.N. report concludes that “true prevalence of sexual violence during the [Oct. 7] attacks and their aftermath, may take months or years to emerge and may never be fully known.” 

Below are the names and faces of the 14 female hostages believed to remain alive in Gaza.

Naama Levy

Noa Argamani

Romi Gonen

Arbel Yehoud

Carmel Gat

Eden Yerushalmi

Doron Steinbrecher

Liri Albag

Daniela Gilboa

Shiri Bibas

Karina Ariev

Agam Berger

Emily Tehila Damari

Amit Esther Buskila

Listen to this week’s edition of the “Problematic Women” podcast to learn more about the U.N. report on sexual violence connected with Hamas’ Oct. 7 attacks in Israel. 

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