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Video of renowned Israeli American hostage released by Hamas

Updated April 24, 2024 - 2:01 pm

JERUSALEM — Hamas released a hostage video on Wednesday showing a well-known Israeli-American man who was among scores of people abducted by the terrorists in the attack that ignited the war in Gaza.

The video was the first sign of life of Hersh Goldberg-Polin since Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel, and its release ignited new protests in Jerusalem calling on the government to do more to secure the captives’ release.

In the video, Goldberg-Polin accused Israel’s government of abandoning the people who are being held hostage by Hamas.

He also claimed that some 70 captives have been killed in Israel’s bombing campaign. Goldberg-Polin was clearly speaking under duress, and the claim could not be independently verified. It was not clear when the video was made.

Goldberg-Polin, 23, was at the Tribe of Nova music festival when Hamas launched its attack from nearby Gaza. In the video, Goldberg-Polin is missing part of his left arm.

Witnesses said he lost it when attackers tossed grenades into a shelter where people had taken refuge. He had tied a tourniquet around it before being bundled into the truck by Hamas.

Goldberg-Polin is one of the most recognized captives. Posters with his image are pinned up across Israel. His mother, Rachel Goldberg, has met with world leaders and addressed the United Nations.

Though there was no date on the video, Goldberg-Polin appeared to reference the weeklong Jewish holiday of Passover, which began on Monday.

His parents said they were relieved to see him alive but were concerned about his health and well-being, as well as that of the other hostages.

“We are here today with a plea to all of the leaders of the parties who have been negotiating to date,” said his father, Jon Polin, naming Egypt, Israel, Qatar, the United States and Hamas.

“Be brave, lean in, seize this moment and get a deal done to reunite all of us with our loved ones and end the suffering in this region,” he said.

Hostages’ families have accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government of not doing enough to secure the release of their relatives.

After the Hamas video was made public, hundreds of Israelis gathered outside Netanyahu’s official residence in central Jerusalem on Wednesday, calling on the government to strike a deal to bring home hostages. Many held posters of Goldberg-Polin, and some of the protesters set cardboard boxes on fire.

“We are afraid for his life, so we went to protest and call for the government to do whatever is possible to bring him and everybody else back, as soon as possible,” said one of the marchers, Nimrod Madrer. “Bring them back home,” the crowd chanted.

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