NYT, Citing 'Grainy Video,' Pushes Israeli Govt's Claim of 'Hamas Mass Rapes' on October 7

Chris Menahan
Dec. 28, 2023

Israel has had over two and half months to produce evidence that Hamas fighters (who filmed their invasion with GoPros) committed "mass rapes" on October 7 yet all they have to show for it is one "grainy video" of a possibly half-disrobed woman who was burnt to a crisp after most likely being killed by an Israeli Apache helicopter.

The Israeli government previously did not claim the woman was raped on their website "Hamas-Massacre.net" but only that she was killed on the side of the street by "terrorists."

From The New York Times:
'Screams Without Words': How Hamas Weaponized Sexual Violence on Oct. 7

A Times investigation uncovered new details showing a pattern of rape, mutilation and extreme brutality against women in the attacks on Israel.

By Jeffrey Gettleman, Anat Schwartz and Adam Sella | Dec. 28, 2023

At first, she was known simply as "the woman in the black dress."

In a grainy video, you can see her, lying on her back, dress torn, legs spread, vagina exposed. Her face is burned beyond recognition and her right hand covers her eyes.

The video was shot in the early hours of Oct. 8 by a woman searching for a missing friend at the site of the rave in southern Israel where, the day before, Hamas terrorists massacred hundreds of young Israelis.

The video went viral, with thousands of people responding, desperate to know if the woman in the black dress was their missing friend, sister or daughter.

One family knew exactly who she was Gal Abdush, mother of two from a working-class town in central Israel, who disappeared from the rave that night with her husband.

As the terrorists closed in on her, trapped on a highway in a line of cars of people trying to flee the party, she sent one final WhatsApp message to her family: "You don't understand."

Based largely on the video evidence which was verified by The New York Times Israeli police officials said they believed that Ms. Abdush was raped, and she has become a symbol of the horrors visited upon Israeli women and girls during the Oct. 7 attacks.
The bulk of the article is pure hearsay from anonymous Israelis who refused to go on the record, in addition to unverified claims from discredited groups like ZAKA (which was founded by a serial rapist dubbed the "Haredi Jeffrey Epstein").

The one piece of physical evidence they produced was "grainy video" -- which they did not share -- of "the woman in the black dress" mentioned above.

They included a quote from Orit Sulitzeanu, executive director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel, telling people "don't look for" evidence of their claims.

From the Times:
The trauma from sexual assault can be so heavy that sometimes survivors do not speak about it for years, several rape counselors said.

"Many people are looking for the golden evidence, of a woman who will testify about what happened to her. But don't look for that, don't put this pressure on this woman," said Orit Sulitzeanu, executive director of the Association of Rape Crisis Centers in Israel. "The corpses tell the story."
The corpses do not tell the story as they were all buried in a hurry without any medical exams in accordance with "Jewish tradition."

Any alleged "potential evidence now lies buried in the ground," the Times reported:
According to Jewish tradition, funerals are held promptly. The result was that many bodies with signs of sexual abuse were put to rest without medical examinations, meaning that potential evidence now lies buried in the ground. International forensic experts said that it would be possible to recover some evidence from the corpses, but that it would be difficult.

[...] Some emergency medical workers now wish they had documented more of what they saw. In interviews, they said they had moved bodies, cut off zip ties and cleaned up scenes of carnage. Trying to be respectful to the dead, they inadvertently destroyed evidence.

Many volunteers working for ZAKA, the emergency response team, are religious Jews and operate under strict rules that command deep respect for the dead.

"I did not take pictures because we are not allowed to take pictures," said Yossi Landau, a ZAKA volunteer. "In retrospect, I regret it."
Now, we get to the one piece of evidence they present:
The woman in the black dress

One of the last images of Ms. Abdush alive captured by a security camera mounted on her front door shows her leaving home with her husband, Nagi, at 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 7 for the rave.

[...] That night, Eden Wessely, a car mechanic, drove to the rave site with three friends and found Ms. Abdush sprawled half naked on the road next to her burned car, about nine miles north of the site.
The Times piece included this one single picture as proof:

Based off that picture, I was able to find a second picture of the same woman from the Israeli government's website Hamas-Massacre.net.


The image can be found under the section "Terrorists raiding the streets" -- even though they have a section of their website for "Mass Rapes" -- and does not even claim that she was raped.

Instead, the photo is captioned, "Woman killed and left on the street."

Searching Twitter, I was able to find a copy of the video they mentioned purportedly showing her half-disrobed and horrifically burned upper body.

The footage is horrific so I'm not going to embed it here but you can view it on Twitter (WARNING: EXTREMELY NSFL) [UPDATE: Here's the video in slightly higher resolution (WARNING: EXTREMELY NSFL). It's still not clear to me if her privates are exposed. Whether they are or not, it's possible she wasn't wearing underwear to the rave in the first place and that alone is still not proof of rape.]

The key takeaways from the video are:
1. It is not even clear from the video if her privates are exposed as the video quality is quite poor.

2. Judging from the state of her horrifically burned upper body, melted face and the destroyed state of her car, odds are overwhelming she was one of the many Israelis who were killed by an Israeli Apache helicopter following the "Hannibal Directive."

3. In the photos, her legs appear to be closed but in the video they're spread open and her right knee is up.

4. Multiple people filmed her dead body so the "Jewish tradition" of not photographing the dead was clearly not being followed in this case. There should be additional, clear footage but all we're told about is the "grainy footage" the NYT themselves wouldn't even produce.
As I noted above, Hamas filmed their invasion with GoPro cameras in high-definition, leaving plenty of footage showing them killing civilians in addition to IDF soldiers.

If they were running around committing mass rape, there should be footage of it. Instead, all we get is one grainy video over two and a half months after the fact and hearsay from discredited activist groups like ZAKA and United Hatzalah full of proven liars.

It's also notable what the Times did not include: the original claims of mass rape were focused entirely on the cases of Shani Louk and female IDF soldier Naama Levy who was seen being dragged off into a Hamas truck with dirty pants. Neither was mentioned in the piece because there is no evidence they were raped at all.

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