US hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin's parents respond to Hamas' video, ask son to ‘be brave, lean in and survive’ - Hindustan Times
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US hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin's parents respond to Hamas' video, ask son to ‘be brave, lean in and survive’

Apr 25, 2024 11:06 AM IST

Hersh Goldberg-Polin's ‘propaganda video’ released by Hamas shows him attacking Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu and seeking early release.

Brave parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, an American hostage held captive by Hamas for last 201 days have spoken out after his video was released by the terror organisation.

 An image grab from a video released by the media office of the Palestinian militant group Hamas on April 24, 2024, shows an Israeli-American man who identified himself as Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23,(AFP)
An image grab from a video released by the media office of the Palestinian militant group Hamas on April 24, 2024, shows an Israeli-American man who identified himself as Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23,(AFP)

Hamas' armed wing, Al-Qassam Brigades, posted the disturbing video on their Telegram channel and showed Hersh Goldberg-Polin seated against a plain background. He was seen wearing a dark red shirt. He identifies himself, sharing personal details like his birthdate and California birthplace.

While the video has been shared on social media, its date and authenticity remain unconfirmed. His parents have given permission for his video to be shared.

Also Read: Hamas releases propaganda video of American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin

Hersh's parents, Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin, said in a statement that “seeing the video of Hersh today is overwhelming. 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’s parents offered a plea to all of the leaders who have been negotiating for a hostage deal, naming Qatar, Egypt, the United States, Hamas and Israel.

“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,” they urged. “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.”

White House probing Hamas' protect video

White House received the video on Monday and had “since been in touch with the family regarding it.” The video “is being actively examined by the FBI and Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell,” a senior US official told The Times of Israel.

What does the Hersh Goldberg-Polin video show?

In the video, Hersh is heard recounting being with friends at the Nova Music Festival when Hamas breached the border, launching a deadly attack on attendees on October 7. Lasting nearly three minutes, the video shows Hersh appealing to the Israeli government to secure their release.

It's unclear if he's speaking from a Hamas-provided script. As he condemns Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu, saying he should be ashamed of himself as there was no one to protect him when Hamas attacked.

On the morning of the attack, alarms rang out, alerting Hersh and his wife. At 8 a.m., he messaged her, saying, "I love you." Ten minutes later, another message followed: "I'm sorry."

Earlier video evidence from Hamas' assault on the music festival revealed Hersh losing his arm from the elbow down due to grenades thrown into the shelter where he and others sought refuge. A woman who claims to have been in the bunker during the attack stated that Hersh had tried to throw grenades out before suffering his injury.

Though the video's exact date is uncertain, Hersh mentions the kidnapping occurring around 200 days ago, suggesting the footage is recent.

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