Hamas issues video showing Israeli-American hostage Goldberg-Polin

By Thomson Reuters Apr 24, 2024 | 1:59 PM

JERUSALEM (Reuters) -The Islamist movement Hamas published a video on Wednesday apparently showing Hersh Goldberg-Polin, an Israeli-American seized during Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel and taken into Gaza, alive.

The short, undated video showed the 23-year-old missing a lower arm, but otherwise apparently healthy. He was shown saying he had sustained serious injuries during the Oct. 7 attack “after I tried using my body as a shield to protect myself and other fearful civilians”.

His mother Rachel Goldberg-Polin has been campaigning for the release of her son, who was abducted at the Nova music festival and is one of 133 Israeli hostages still in captivity after more than 100 were released last year.

Responding to the video on Wednesday, his parents urged leaders involved in ceasefire negotiations to reach a deal.

“Seeing a video of Hersh today is overwhelming. We’re relieved to see him alive but we’re also concerned about his health and wellbeing as well as that of all of the other hostages and all of those suffering in this region,” his father, Jonathan Polin, said in a video message.

“We’re here today with a plea to all of the leaders of the parties who have been negotiating to date. That includes Qatar, Egypt, the United States, Hamas and Israel. Be brave, lean in, seize this moment and get a deal done …”

Around 250 Israelis and foreigners were taken hostage by the gunmen, who killed some 1,200 people, according to Israeli tallies, in the deadliest single attack in Israel’s history.

In response, Israel launched an assault on Gaza, pledging to destroy Hamas and bring the hostages home. The assault has so far killed more than 34,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza health authorities.

(Reporting by James Mackenzie;Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Kevin Liffey)