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Updated February 1st, 2024 at 08:50 IST

Mutilated Bodies, Bloodied Clothes: Israeli Official Recalls Harrowing Details of October 7 Massacre

An Israeli reservist who dealt with the aftermath of the horrifying October 7 massacre recalled the harrowing details of how Hamas killed Israelis.

A man passes by a fence with photograph of hostages who were abducted during the October 7 massacre
A man passes by a fence with photograph of hostages who were abducted during the October 7 massacre | Image:AP
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Tel Aviv – Trigger warning: The story contains graphic details of injuries

An Israeli reservist who dealt with the aftermath of the horrifying October 7 massacre claimed that during the attacks, Hamas “systematically mutilated the genital” of women. While narrating the harrowing details of the deadly Israel-Hamas war to Sky News, the Israeli reservist Shari Mendes mentioned how the terror group shot multiple victims in the crotch, breasts and head. Mendes was part of an Israeli army reserve unit which was responsible for identifying and preparing female soldiers for burial. 

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Mendes told Sky News that she was stationed in the Shura base on 8 October, where the victims were brought after the devastating October 7 massacre that killed more than 1,200 people. "The halls were lined to the ceiling with body bags, the smell was unimaginable. I can't tell you the shock and despair that struck all of us," the Israeli official told Sky News. Her unit was responsible for performing religious roles and “accompanying the female victims”. "It was our job to honour them, they could have been our daughters - they were the same ages as our children... Just for a moment we loved them," she furthered. 

Women were shot multiple times in the face

Mendes noted that the dead bodies of the women were barely dressed and some came with bloody underwear. "Women were shot many times in the face... Their mouths were in grimaces, their eyes were open, their fists were clenched," she recalled. “They were shot so many times in the head, in many cases it was like there was purposeful obliteration of women's faces. Our team has seen women shot in the crotch, in the genitals. Women were shot in the breast... Our team saw this. Women had their legs cut off. It seemed like there was a systematic genital mutilation of women in the women we saw,” Mendes added recalling the horrors unleashed by the group. Meanwhile, in the past, Hamas has stated that its fighters did not rape anyone during the attack and the United Nations is currently investigating the matter. 

The Israeli official noted that many of the bodies of the victims were so badly damaged that her team were struggling to dress them for burial. “One woman had her arm and her leg broken in so many places it was like handling marbles or sand, and at a certain point we said we would just put a white sheet on top of her,” Mendes told Sky News. She also mentioned that some of the victims who survived this attack are still traumatised by it and are struggling to share their plight. "If these women are being questioned about the veracity of their claims, why should they come forward?" she said. “I think we have to be patient: they're very traumatised... It may take time for these women to speak out, if they ever do. It re-victimises the victim to not believe them,” the Israeli official concluded. 

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Published February 1st, 2024 at 08:50 IST

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