Hamas terrorists mutilated female soldiers’ faces, breasts and genitals

‘It is impossible to overemphasize the number of bodies we were dealing with; the sense of shock and despair.’

By Vered Weiss, World Israel News

At a sidebar event at the United Nations to raise awareness of sexual crimes committed by Hamas during the October 7th massacre, army reservist Shari Mendes spoke about what her unit saw at the Shura base as they prepared female bodies for burial.

The event, entitled “Hear Our Voices: Sexual and gender-based violence in the October 7 Hamas terror attack,” had as its keynote speaker, Sheryl Sandberg formerly an executive at Facebook, as well as other speakers, including those who, like Mendes, dealt directly with the dead bodies of women.

The purpose of the event was to demand that the United Nations regard the sexual violence committed by Hamas as war crimes and to address the silence in the UN and among many global women’s group.

After nearly two months, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres announced an investigation into the crimes.

Shari Mendes reported that many of the corpses had tense facial expressions and clenched fists that expressed the agony and torment of their final moments.

She described one female soldier’s arm was broken in so many places it was difficult to fit inside a body bag.

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The entire side of one corpse was entirely shredded by a grenade and hard to identify.

Mendes reported that her team commander saw bodies of female soldiers that had been shot in the crotch, the breasts and inside the vagina.

The faces of many were shot many times in what appeared to be an intent to mutilate them beyond recognition.

Mendes said, “Heads and faces were covered in blood. They were shot in the eyes, face, and skull,”

One female soldier’s face had been shot so many times that the head had nearly fallen off.

Others’ brains were falling out of their skulls.

“Our unit has seen bodies that were beheaded or had limbs cut off, mutilated,” Mendes said. “One young woman came in with no legs: they had been cut off. We saw several severed heads, one with a large kitchen knife still embedded in the neck.”

Mendes said that, in some cases, the disfigurement of the faces was done after death,  because it was clear they were made when there was no more blood left in the body and the corpses had already bled out.

“Charred remains arrived and had to be identified and prepared for burial. These bodies were burned beyond recognition, often without arms or legs; they did not resemble anything human,” Mendes said.

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“Sometimes we sifted through piles of ash that disintegrated as we touched them. These soldiers were burnt alive at very high temperatures.”

Mendes described the sheer scale of the task, “Body bags just kept coming in all shapes and sizes. Many were oozing liquids and the floors were wet. The smell of death was already unbearable.”

She continued, “It is impossible to overemphasize the number of bodies we were dealing with; the sense of shock and despair.”

Although surrounded by images of death, brutality and horror, Mendes emphasized that the task of their unit was to see the corpses as individuals, to attempt to restore the dignity that had been taken from them during the attack.

“Hamas did not show these women any honor in life, but it was important to us and our teams, groups of women, that we showed them deep love and gentleness as we prepared them for burial.”

We held them in our hearts even just for a moment, as if they were our daughters; we really loved them,” she said.
As the child of a Holocaust survivor, she added, “I understand the importance of bearing witness. I am here to be the voice of those who cannot testify.”