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Hamas releases video of Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin

A video of Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin was released Wednesday by Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades.

Speaking to the camera in Hebrew, the 23-year-old, whose left arm is severed below the elbow, angrily demands the Israeli government repatriate the hostages, as the Gaza war enters its 200th day on Tuesday.

It is not clear when the video was filmed or under what conditions he spoke, given that he is a Hamas captive. It is also unknown if he is still alive.

In another video shot on October 7, Goldberg-Polin was seen injured by a grenade explosion before being loaded into a truck during the chaotic violence at the Supernova music festival in southern Israel, near from Kibbutz Re’im.

He was among 250 people captured that day, according to Israeli officials, who said 1,200 people were killed when Hamas launched multi-front attacks on the country, sparking war in the Gaza Strip. More than 34,000 people, including some 13,000 children, have been killed since Israel launched its military campaign in Gaza, according to the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry.

Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin in a video released Wednesday by Hamas’ military wing.Al Qassam Brigade Telegram channel

Wearing a dark red shirt and sitting on a gray plastic chair, he refers to his 200 days of captivity and his vacation. Although it does not specifically refer to which holiday, Jews celebrated Passover on Monday evening.

He also criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for not yet reaching an agreement for the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza.

The Al-Qassam Brigades released the video amid months of hesitant negotiations between Israel and Hamas for a ceasefire agreement and release of the hostages.

Goldberg-Polin said the government should think about the hostages he described as living underground and in need of medical care.

He added that 70 detainees were killed in Israeli airstrikes.

NBC News could not independently verify the claim, and Israeli officials previously said about 130 people remained in captivity in Gaza, 30 of whom were believed to have died. At least six of the hostages still in Gaza are American citizens.

At the end of the 2-minute, 43-second video, Goldberg-Polin told his parents that he loved them and missed them. “I look forward and hope to see you again very soon, once all this tragedy is over,” he said.

Israel has criticized videos like this, calling them psychological warfare.

In a statement responding to the video, the Goldberg-Polin family said: “Hersh’s cry is the collective cry of all the hostages: their time is running out. With each passing day, the fear of losing innocent lives grows stronger. »

“This heartbreaking video is an urgent call for rapid and decisive action to resolve this horrific humanitarian crisis and ensure the safe return of our loved ones,” the statement said.

A U.S. official confirmed that the administration received the video on Monday and was in contact with Goldberg-Polin’s family. The FBI’s Hostage Recovery Unit is reviewing the footage for information about his captivity.

In an interview with NBC News earlier this month, Goldberg-Polin’s mother, Rachel Goldberg-Polin, who has become a vocal advocate for efforts to free the remaining hostages in Gaza, spoke about the uncertainty and the unbearable wait that families like hers experience. had to endure.

Rachel Goldberg-Polin said her son hid in a roadside bomb shelter with 27 others, but militants threw hand grenades and fired shots into the bunker, killing numerous people and injuring others, including his son.

Survivors and Hamas GoPro camera footage shared with the family revealed that Goldberg-Polin had half of his left arm torn off before being taken to Gaza.

His last text messages to his parents after the attack began and before he was taken hostage were: “I love you” and “I’m sorry.”

Rachel Goldberg-Polin said she believes Netanyahu’s government should compromise in order to end the suffering in Israel and Gaza, and considers the suffering of her son and other hostages, as well as the death of Palestinians in Gaza, like innocent people who pay the price on both sides.

“I’m happy to be upset when I see that the other side is suffering too, that I’m not celebrating their pain because that would mean I’m not human anymore,” she said.

She added that she hoped there was a mother like her in Gaza who could try to help her son.

News Source : www.nbcnews.com
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