By: Jake Smith, Daily Caller News Foundation
It is likely that Hamas has not released more of its women hostages because the terrorist group doesn’t want them to talk about their experiences in captivity, State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said during a press briefing on Monday.
The pause in conflict between Israel and Hamas ended on Friday because Hamas did not release all of its women hostages and “violated” the terms of the temporary truce. Miller said on Monday that, though the State Department has not yet independently confirmed details, it is highly probable that Hamas is not releasing the women hostages so they can’t talk about what they’ve endured while in the terrorist group’s captivity.
“We’ve obviously seen the reports that Hamas has committed sexual violence, they’ve committed rape,” Miller said Monday. “We have no reason at all to doubt those reports.”
“When you look at all the atrocities that Hamas carried out on Oct. 7, and the atrocities that they’ve carried out since, the fact that they continue to hold women hostages, the fact that they continue to hold children hostages, the fact that it seems one of the reasons they don’t want to turn women over that they’ve been holding hostage – and the reason this pause fell apart – is they don’t want those women to talk about what happened to them during their time in custody,” Miller said.
“There is very little that I would put beyond Hamas.”
Hamas took over 200 hostages during its Oct. 7 terrorist attacks against Israel that left 1,200 civilians dead. As part of the temporary truce deal that ended on Friday, Hamas released over 100 hostages in exchange for a temporary pause in conflict with Israel.
Hamas currently retains approximately 122 hostages, including Israeli citizens, foreign nationals and American citizens, according to The Washington Post. Israel resumed its sweeping counteroffensive in the Gaza Strip on Nov. 30 and has turned some of its operations toward southern Gaza, where several Hamas commanders remain in hiding.