Hamas releases video of American-Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin

Hamas released Wednesday a propaganda/proof of life video of American-Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin.

The 24-year-old was one of the hundreds of people taken hostage in Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on Israel. He’s one of 133 hostages remaining in Gaza, though dozens of them are believed to be dead.

In the heavily edited video, which is also clearly scripted, Goldberg-Polin criticizes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government.

“Think of us detainees in underground hell, without water, food or sun, without the treatment I (have needed) for so long,” Goldberg-Polin says.

At the end of the video, he directly addresses his family and tells them he loves them.

The video is not dated, but Goldberg-Polin notes the beginning of Passover on Monday and mentions being held by Hamas for “almost 200 days.” Wednesday marked exactly the 200th day since the Hamas attack.

Hamas has released hostage videos in the past, including one of French-Israeli woman Mia Schem less than two weeks after the assault. Schem, 21, was one of the 105 hostages freed during a temporary ceasefire in November.

Of the 133 hostages still held by Hamas, Israel believes 97 are still alive. The country considers all unreturned people to be hostages, whether alive or dead.

Goldberg-Polin was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and also lived in Richmond, Va., before moving to Israel with his family when he was in elementary school. He was attending the Re’im music festival in southern Israel when Hamas attacked the event.

During the assault, Goldberg-Polin and others gathered in a bunker. Hamas fighters threw grenades into the bunker, and part of Goldberg-Polin’s left arm was blown off in the explosion.

While Goldberg-Polin has been held captive by Hamas, his mother, Rachel Goldberg-Polin, has become a leading voice calling for the hostages’ release. In November, she met with Pope Francis, and last week Time magazine named her one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People.

“It’s as if it’s Oct. 8” in Israel, she told the magazine. “It cannot move forward. The country is in such reeling.”

“I cannot digest that Passover is next week,” she continued. “It’s actually perverse to even start to think about the holiday of freedom from captivity. I just said today, and I was not kidding, ‘Is there a way, could I find any doctor that could put me in an induced coma for the week?’ Like, I don’t want to be conscious. It will be so acutely painful.”