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‘Stay strong, survive,’ parents tell Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin after Hamas propaganda video

Video sent to Qatar as a gesture from Hamas

Parents of Israeli hostage Hersh in a video published on social media, after the release of their son's video published by Hamas, on April 24, 2024. (Photo: Screenshot from "Bring Hersh Home" X channel)

After Hamas aired a propaganda video featuring Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, in a rare move, his parents permitted the media to publish it, hoping that the publicity would help prompt calls for Hersh’s release.

“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,” Hersh’s parents Rachel and Jon said in a video released on 𝕏.

“We are here today with a plea to all of the leaders of the parties who have been negotiating to date. This includes 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 added.

“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.”

The video was the first sign of life from 23-year-old Hersh since his capture. At the time of his abduction, he was filmed getting into a Hamas vehicle after losing his left hand in a grenade explosion.

In the video released on Wednesday, Hersh is seen with his left hand missing, while stating he has been held captive for about 200 days. If true, that would mean that the video was recorded on or just after the beginning of Passover.

Several Israeli news sites refused to air the entire video, per their usual policy, as Hamas uses hostage videos as a means of propaganda. According to reports, Hamas sent the video to Qatar as a "gesture," given Qatar's role as one of the mediators for a ceasefire/hostage release deal.

Qatar forwarded the video to the White House on Monday, a senior U.S. official told the Times of Israel, adding that it “since been in touch with the family."

The video “is being actively examined by the FBI and Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell,” the official added.

A source with direct knowledge informed the Axios news outlet that the Biden administration has repeatedly requested the Qatari government's assistance in obtaining 'proof of life' for Goldberg-Polin and other American-Israeli dual citizens.

The video of Goldberg-Polin was “an urgent call for action,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said on Wednesday. He said the IDF “will leave no stone unturned in our efforts to find our hostages.”

“This psychological terror video is not only a reminder of what Hamas did on October 7th, It is a reminder of how sick this terror group is, terrorizing the hostages and their families too,” Hagari said in a statement.

“To Hersh’s parents Rachel and Jon: Our hearts are with you. We will continue doing everything in our power to bring your son Hersh and all our hostages back home. Your strength continues to inspire us as we fulfill this critical mission,” he added.

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

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