Israeli-American Hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin Seen Alive in New Hamas Video

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Hamas released a video on Wednesday appearing to show that Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin is alive, providing the first significant evidence that he survived severe injuries sustained during his capture on October 7, 2023.

The short video, which is undated, shows Goldberg-Polin sitting in a chair, part of his left arm missing after it was reportedly blown off during last year’s attack that ignited the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. TIME cannot verify when the video was filmed, but it was posted on the same social media platform used by Hamas for sharing propaganda materials, including footage of other hostages.

In the video, Goldberg-Polin addresses the camera, identifying himself by name, date of birth, and his parents’ names before delivering a statement. He said that he has been in captivity for "almost 200 days," suggesting the video was filmed around Tuesday, the 200th day since the conflict began.

Goldberg-Polin, then 23, was kidnapped while attending the Nova music festival amid Hamas’ onslaught on Israel, which claimed over 1,200 lives and led to the capture of more than 200 people. Hamas has long been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. and Israel. Goldberg-Polin is one of eight Americans still believed to be held in Gaza. There had been no previous indication that he was alive.

Jonathan Polin, right, and Rachel Goldberg in Jerusalem on Oct. 15. Their son Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, is missing.
Jonathan Polin, right, and Rachel Goldberg in Jerusalem on Oct. 15. Their son Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, is missing.Michal Chelbin for TIME

Roughly 100 people are believed to remain in captivity in Gaza, out of an estimated initial count of 240 hostages taken by Hamas. It’s unclear how many hostages remain alive, though Goldberg-Polin said in the video that Israeli airstrikes may have claimed the lives of approximately 70 of these captives.

Expressing sentiments aligned with Hamas, Goldberg-Polin criticized the Israeli government, calling out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Think of us detainees in underground hell without water, food, or sun,” he said in Hebrew. “Without the treatment I need for so long.” His remarks echo those of other Israeli hostages featured in Hamas propaganda videos.

Goldberg-Polin’s mother, Rachel Goldberg-Polin, was chosen as one of TIME’s most influential people in the world earlier this month for her advocacy efforts on behalf of hostages and their families. “Hope is mandatory,” she said. “I believe it, and I have to believe it, that he will come back to us.”

Near the end of the video, Goldberg-Polin addressed his family: "I love you. I know you're doing your best to get me home as soon as possible. I want you to stay strong for me.”

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