Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin proven alive in new Hamas video | EUROtoday

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Hamas on Wednesday launched a video showing to point out Israeli American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, providing the primary potential signal that he should still be alive, after his violent abduction by Palestinian militants in southern Israel on Oct. 7.

The Washington Post was unable to confirm the video or when it was filmed. But Goldberg-Polin’s household, who’ve advocated tirelessly for his launch, permitted its use, in accordance with the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, a volunteer advocacy group.

In the footage, which is sort of three minutes lengthy, Goldberg-Polin mentions the Jewish vacation of Passover, which started this week. He additionally refers to spending “almost 200 days” in captivity, which Israelis marked Tuesday.

Goldberg-Polin, 23, was one in every of 253 individuals kidnapped by Hamas-led fighters of their brazen assault in October. In a grisly video of the kidnapping, militants are proven forcing Goldberg-Polin into the again of a car on the Nova music competition, his left hand blown off by what seemed to be a grenade.

At 8:11 a.m. on Oct. 7, he had despatched two messages by way of WhatsApp to his mom. “I love you,” the primary learn. The subsequent one stated: “I’m sorry.”

The new video, which was posted on Hamas’s Telegram channel, is closely edited at instances and exhibits Goldberg-Polin with marks on his face. His left hand and a part of his forearm are lacking, and he provides what seems to be a scripted assertion condemning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Still, the contemporary footage was met with reduction and urgency from Goldberg-Polin’s household and throughout Israel, as Netanyahu and his authorities face rising strain to achieve a deal that may free the hostages. According to Israeli authorities, 133 hostages stay in Gaza, together with 36 who’re confirmed useless.

“Seeing the video of Hersh today is overwhelming,” his mother and father, Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin, stated in a press release Wednesday. “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.”

Goldberg-Polin is one in every of 5 Americans nonetheless believed to be held hostage in Gaza. The others are Keith Siegel, 64; Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35; Omer Neutra, 22; and Edan Alexander, 20. Siegel and Dekel-Chen have been each kidnapped from the communities the place they lived close to the border. Neutra and Alexander have been serving within the Israel Defense Forces on the day of the assault. The our bodies of three different U.S. residents — Itay Chen, Judi Weinstein and Gad Haggai — are additionally in Gaza.

Soon after the video’s launch Wednesday, a whole bunch of protesters massed close to the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, chanting, “Bring them back now!” and “Negotiation now!” Drivers honked their horns in solidarity with the crowds. One younger lady held an indication with Goldberg-Polin’s face and the phrases “Bring Hersh home.”

Since the beginning of the struggle, his poster has been plastered throughout Jerusalem, the place he was raised after his household moved to Israel from the United States.

Elisheva and Shoshana Baumgarten are sisters who dwell close to the Goldberg-Polin household in Baka in southern Jerusalem, they usually knew Goldberg-Polin as a toddler. They stated they usually attend protests to assist the hostages and admire Rachel Goldberg, who has led a world marketing campaign for his launch and has spoken out about defending civilians in Gaza.

The sisters have been relieved to seek out out he should still be alive, however Shoshana Baumgarten stated she was additionally sick with fear. In the previous, Hamas has launched movies of residing hostages, solely to later share that they’d been killed.

“We just can’t let him not come home,” stated Elisheva Baumgarten, a historical past professor at Hebrew University.

As Goldberg-Polin grew up, he turned a well-recognized face amongst Jerusalem’s small neighborhood of younger progressives. At the gritty Sira Pub in West Jerusalem, workers and patrons stated Wednesday that he was a fixture within the neighborhood.

Arielle Kangisser, 21, stated that he used to frequent the close by espresso store the place she labored and that she would see him usually within the alleyway of vigorous bars the place the town’s extra left-wing youths congregate.

Seeing the brand new video Wednesday was “mind-blowing,” she stated. “I didn’t think he’d survive with his hand, his wounds. It’s incredible that he’s alive.”

Alon, 39, the proprietor of the adjoining Cafe Sira, stated he bonded with Goldberg-Polin over their shared love of trance music. Alon, who gave solely his first identify for privateness causes, stated Wednesday evening that he noticed Goldberg-Polin the afternoon he left for the Nova music competition close to the Gaza border.

Militants stormed the competition Oct. 7, turning the outside live performance right into a massacre.

Alon stated he “felt a bit sick” when he noticed the video. “In general, I assume it’s good, but you don’t look at it and smile.”

In their assertion, Goldberg-Polin’s mother and father — who beforehand described their ache as “almost exponential” — supplied phrases of consolation to their son.

“Hersh, we heard your voice today for the first time in 201 days and if you can hear us, we are telling you, we love you, stay strong, survive,” they stated.

Joanna Slater, Shira Rubin and Lior Soroka contributed to this report.