'They defiled her soul': Mother of Hamas rape, murder victim says world must know the horror

Eti Bracha, the mother of Gal Abdush who was raped and then murdered by Hamas terrorists in front of her husband before he too was shot, says she believes recounting the heinous crimes is important, hoping the world would not stay silent
On the night of October 6, Gal and Nagi Abdush from Kiryat Ekron left their two children at Gal's parents' house and celebrated at the music festival near Kibbutz Re’im. An investigation by The New York Times released last week revealed that Gal was raped by Hamas terrorists before being murdered together with her husband when they attempted to escape the festival.
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In the investigative reported published on Sunday, Eden Wessely, who took a picture of Gal after she was murdered, recounted the horrors she witnessed when she arrived at the scene to look for her friend: "I saw very graphic scenes there, hundreds of bodies, things that the human eye can’t stand to see."
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גל ונאג'י עבדוש
גל ונאג'י עבדוש
Gal and Nagi Abdush
Gal's relatives were among the first who responded to Eden after her post in which she described Gal’s photograph as "a woman in a black dress that doesn't leave my mind," – asking if it was Gal in the photo.
Eti Bracha, Gal's mother, told Ynet about her difficult emotions: "I heard about the rape my daughter experienced before she was murdered. It was a chilling and painful moment; I even felt ashamed, even though she did nothing wrong. Monsters murdered her." She added, "They defiled her soul and spirit before murdering her and her husband, leaving behind two orphans aged 7 and 11."
Bracha said Gal was raped and murdered in front of her husband, who was also murdered after her. "It’s important to me and the people of Israel that the world knows about the sexual crimes these monsters committed, so that they don't avert their eyes and say they don't believe it really happened," she said. "There are testimonies describing the sexual assault against my daughter."
According to her, she only learned about the sexual assaults during the work on the New York Times investigation: "We weren’t aware of the rape initially; we were informed only when The New York Times' journalist approached us. They said they cross-referenced the testimonies and said that Gal had undergone a sexual assault. Even now. we don't know exactly what happened," added Bracha.
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תמונות הנרצחים והחטופים ממסיבת הטבע מסיבת הטבע נובה
תמונות הנרצחים והחטופים ממסיבת הטבע מסיבת הטבע נובה
Photos of the victims at the Re'im music festival
(Photo: REUTERS/Amir Cohen)
Nagi's mother was also horrified by the shocking testimonies: "She's my daughter-in-law, and what I hear is horrifying. What she went through before they shot and murdered them, how painful, how sad. That morning, my son Nagi called us and said, 'They killed her, shot at her,' and screamed on the phone, which was on speaker.”
“Only now, after hearing what they did to Gal, am I trying to imagine what my son saw with his own eyes, how they sexually assaulted his wife before shooting her and then shooting him," she added.
A few hours before the couple was murdered by Hamas terrorists, they celebrated Simchat Torah with their children, parents, and Gal's brother Rami Bracha. Rami said that around 2:30 a.m., Gal and Nagi left for the party, leaving their children with Gal's mother in Kiryat Ekron.
"The kids keep asking about Mom and Dad all the time. It's very hard for them, and they’re sad," said Gal's mother. "The eldest son even insisted on watching the IDF’s Spokesperson’s Unit’s footage from the attack, which presented all of the videos from the festival where his parents were murdered."
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מתוך #NOVA
מתוך #NOVA
Burned and wrecked vehicles left behind near the scene of Hamas' attack at Kibbutz Re'im
(Photo: Yes)
Rami Bracha said that a few hours after the massacre, he recognized his sister Gal in the video that was nicknamed "The Woman in the Black Dress," but wasn’t aware know she had been raped.
"I recognized the dress and knew it was my sister because I saw her before she left for the party. The image of my sister in that video hasn’t left my mind to this day. The next day, we went to the police station to report her missing. I said that based on the clothing seen in the photo, I knew it was my sister,” he said.
“At first, I didn't understand she’d been murdered. Only once we arrived at the police station, and the investigator turned to the woman who posted the photo I saw, did we realize that something horrible happened, and my sister was no longer alive. I couldn't look at the pictures; my wife did."
The video was published on October 8 and went viral on social media. According to Rami, "It was only following the New York Times investigation that we learned from the journalists that my sister had been raped. It feels horrible, knowing what she went through before they shot and murdered her."
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