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Household in tears as first proof of hostage alive launched by Hamas in seven months | World Information

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Rachel Goldberg-Polin ran residence when her husband, John, referred to as final week. He had simply been informed by the FBI and Israeli intelligence that Hamas was about to publish a video of their son Hersh, from captivity in Gaza.

It was the primary proof he was alive since he was taken hostage on the Nova music festival on 7 October.

She stated: “I am operating residence in order that we may very well be collectively. I used to be rapidly calling the grandparents, my daughters and our workforce, the individuals who encompass us every single day and assist us to warn them, as a result of we did not know what was going to be within the video. So we have been scared.

“We watched it along with all people else and honestly, the primary time we noticed it, we have been simply crying and not likely listening, simply listening to his voice, not listening to the content material.”

Within the video, Hersh is sat in opposition to a plain white wall, sporting a crimson and blue t-shirt.

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The good-looking 24-year-old, whose smiling picture is on most road corners in West Jerusalem alongside the phrase “Free Hersh” is now pale, with luggage underneath his eyes and cropped hair.

Hersh was taken captive on the Nova music competition

His left hand is lacking, blown off by a grenade as Hamas stormed into Israel that October morning. The toll of seven months as a Hamas hostage is apparent.

“There wasn’t anger. It was reduction, and heartbreak that he regarded clearly medically compromised and fragile, seeing his arm for the primary time since seeing his arm blown off from the unique abduction video was one thing.

“As a dad or mum, you’ll by no means need to see that.”

‘There wasn’t anger. It was reduction, and heartbreak,’ Rachel stated

Rachel has solely watched the total video correctly 3 times however has seen it on mute to see her son transferring and listened to the audio near her ear simply in order that she might hear his voice.

“I am going to take it as a mom when he says that an important factor is household and he talks to us saying: ‘I like you and I hope you already know that. I am going to see you quickly’. And once more, that was most likely all scripted, however I am going to take it.

“While you’re ravenous and somebody offers you a dry piece of bread, you may take it, and I used to be glad to take it.”

Rachel’s father, Hersh’s grandfather, broke down in floods of tears when he heard concerning the video. He had been privately satisfied his grandson was {dead} however had stayed robust for his daughter’s sake.

A possible ceasefire?

Negotiations for a brand new ceasefire are ongoing.

Hamas is learning a brand new proposal from Israel that reportedly calls for the discharge of 20 hostages in an preliminary part in return for a partial withdrawal of Israeli forces and the liberty for Gazans within the south to return residence to the north.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken yesterday described it as a “beneficiant” provide and Hamas is predicted to ship its reply within the coming days.

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‘We will not have so many individuals killed’

Get the latest updates on the Israel-Hamas war

For the households of the 133 hostages nonetheless in Gaza, it has been traumatic to have hopes raised so many instances, just for a doable deal to disintegrate.

‘Do not depend your hostages till they’re residence’

For seven months Rachel has not worn make-up or jewelry, listened to music or watched the information.

The one accent on her clothes is a ripped piece of tape with the quantity 207 written on: the variety of days her son has been hostage.

Alistair Bunkall lead - Hersh and his mother
It has been greater than 200 days since Rachel’s son was taken hostage

Along with her husband, she has travelled to Washington and Davos to deal with world leaders and campaigned to maintain the story of each hostage alive.

Like each hostage member of the family I’ve met over the previous seven months, their focus isn’t just on bringing their cherished one residence, however each single hostage residence.

“You recognize actually, we have realized the expression ‘do not depend your chickens earlier than they hatch’ and so we are saying, ‘do not depend your hostages till they’re residence’.

“I simply assume we’ve to guard ourselves emotionally and psychologically, so we’re definitely optimistic and hopeful and all the time praying for a Positive end result, however I am very cautious.

“I believe all the households are very cautious to not be relying on one thing earlier than we actually have a cause to depend on it.”

Learn extra:
Hamas releases video of hostages
Aid charity to resume operations following killing of aid workers

‘Not simply’ concerning the hostages

Rachel’s message to leaders, because the negotiations once more enter a troublesome and essential part, is to compromise for the sake of everybody, Israelis, Palestinians and different nationalities caught up:

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Hostage’s mother and father plead for his launch

“It isn’t simply concerning the 133 hostages who symbolize 25 totally different international locations who’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Buddhist, and who vary in age from 15 months {old} to 85, 86 years {old}. This isn’t simply concerning the 133 hostages.

“That is about tons of of hundreds of harmless civilians who’re struggling on this area, in Gaza.

“And there might be an finish to it. I believe that it’ll require super braveness and compromise. Compromise is all the time troublesome. Costs are all the time steep. It is all the time painful. That is the purpose of compromise, is that you just’re keen to surrender on one thing you maintain expensive for one thing that is much more valuable, however you pay for it.

“And I might say to the people who find themselves in these rooms to make the daring option to do the factor that may give your individuals reduction, your individual individuals reduction.”

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