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Hamas releases video of hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, first sign of life since Oct. 7 invasion

Israeli analysts call the Hamas propaganda video ‘psychological terrorism’

Hersh Goldberg-Polin in a video released by Hamas (Photo: Screenshot)

The Hamas terrorist organization released a video on Wednesday featuring 23-year-old captive Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was kidnapped from the Nova Music Festival on Oct. 7.

The video is the first sign of life from Hersh since his capture. 

At the time of his abduction, he was filmed getting into a Hamas vehicle after losing his left hand.

In the video released on Wednesday, Hersh is seen with his left hand missing, while he states he he has been held captive for about 200 days. 

If true, that would mean that the video was recorded on, or just after Passover. 

Several Israeli news sites refused to air the entire video, as the text read by Hersh was clearly scripted by the terrorists as a means of propaganda. 

In the video, Hersh blasts the Israeli government, especially Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, for “abandoning” the hostages. 

Hersh, who is a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, appears to be reading from a script when he calls on the Israeli government to bring the hostage home now and to resign from office. 

Hersh, a resident of Jerusalem. He was born in California before moving to Israel with his parents in 2008, when he was seven years old. 

Hersh celebrated his 23rd birthday just days before being kidnapped by Hamas terrorists at the Nova Music Festival on Oct. 7. He had been planning a trip to India for December.

His mother, Rachel Goldberg-Polin, was named one of the 100 “Most Influential People” by TIME magazine last week for her advocacy work to raise global awareness of the hostages. 

At that time, Rachel asked people to “keep praying for miracles and freedom and unhardened hearts" and said she still believed her son would be at their Passover Seder meal.

Rachel and her husband expressed their gratitude to the global Christian community for praying for the release of the hostages.

Israel has confirmed the death of at least 34 out of the remaining 133 hostages, but both Israel and U.S. officials estimate that the number of deaths could be even higher. 

Israel had demanded the release of at least 40 surviving hostages as part of the first phase of a potential hostage release deal, focusing on the most vulnerable hostages; specifically women, children, the elderly and those who are ill. 

However, Hamas rejected the proposal by Israel and proposals by mediators in the negotiations, instead demanding that Israel cease all military operations in the Gaza Strip and withdraw IDF troops before it would agree to release any hostages. 

Hamas also hinted that it might not even have 40 living hostages to release. However, Israeli officials believe the statement to be another form of psychological terrorism, designed to provoke the families of hostages to put pressure on the government to agree to Hamas demands. 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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