Hamas Releases Video of Injured American-Israeli Hostage

Hannah McKay
Hannah McKay

Hamas released a video of American-Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin on Wednesday, as Israel’s brutal military campaign in Gaza passes its two hundredth day, with dozens of hostages still missing.

Goldberg-Polin was among those in attendance at the Nova Music Festival, only a few miles away from Israel’s border with Gaza. In the video, Goldberg-Polin is missing his left hand and arm below the elbow, which is consistent with a report that his arm was blown off while trying to throw grenades out of a bunker while he and other attendees hid from insurgents.

While the video is undated, Goldberg-Polin said that he’d been abandoned by the Israeli government for “almost 200 days.” As of Wednesday, the hostages were kidnapped 201 days ago.

Benjamin Netanyahu and his government should be ashamed of yourselves because you neglected us along with thousands of other citizens,” Goldberg-Polin said, criticizing the ongoing military campaign in Gaza which he said “killed about 70 detainees like me.”

The footage was almost certainly filmed under duress, and video was released for propaganda purposes, likely to push Israel to make a deal with Hamas, instead of continuing to plot the invasion of Rafah.

Of the 129 hostages still in Gaza, the Israeli government believes 33 are dead, according to CNN. The ongoing military campaign conducted by the IDF has killed over 34,000 Palestinians, and resulted in the rescue of only three hostages.

Goldberg-Polin’s parents released a video statement responding to the video of their son, which is the first sign they have received that he is still alive after being taken six months ago. “We are relieved to see him alive but we are also concerned about his health and wellbeing as well as that of all the other hostages and all of those suffering in this region,” said his father, Jon.

“We are here today with a plea to all of the leaders of the parties who have been negotiating to date. This includes Qatar, Egypt, the United States, Hamas and Israel,” he said.

Rachel Goldberg-Polin, Hersh’s mother, has been an outspoken advocate for the safe return of her son, and all of the other hostages taken by Hamas, and has regular audiences with U.S. officials. In Jerusalem, Hersh is something of a high-profile hostage, as murals and banners can be found across the city, wishing for his safe return.

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