Israeli hostages drugged, sexually and psychologically abused in Gaza: Psychiatrist

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A Tel Aviv-based psychiatrist has claimed that Israelis who were taken as hostages following the October 7 Hamas assault were drugged to keep them docile in captivity and also subjected to sexual and psychological abuse. Renana Eitan, Director at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center-Ichilov, said that she had never seen anything like this in her 20 years of treating trauma victims. Eitan said the physical, sexual, mental, and psychological abuse of the hostages who were released from captivity was terrible, adding that drastic measures have to be taken in a psychological framework for the victims.

The Center has been treating 14 former hostages held by Hamas. A large number of these victims were drugged, including with what doctors believe were benzodiazepines, a class of depressants with a sedative effect that includes drugs like valium. In the hours after the Hamas launched its brutal attack on October 7, the militant group captured some 240 Israelis as hostages. During the now-collapsed humanitarian pause from November 24-30, 86 Israeli and 24 foreign national hostages were released. On Tuesday, reportedly, two additional bodies were retrieved. It is estimated that about 137 people remain captive in Gaza, including Israelis and foreign nationals, according to sources.

Before the pause, four civilian hostages had been released by Hamas, one Israeli soldier was rescued, and the bodies of three hostages were retrieved.

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