on tape

Hamas releases video of Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin

The video was the first sign of life from Goldberg-Polin, a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen kidnapped and injured on Oct. 7


Jonathan Polin, 53, from left, Rachel Goldberg, 53, recounts their last interactions with their missing son Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, who went missing after Hamas launched a surprise attack and breached Israeli borders, taking hostages.

On Wednesday, Hamas released a video of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, the American-Israeli hostage whose parents have become some of the loudest and most powerful advocates for the more than 130 hostages still held in Gaza. The video, posted on Hamas’ official Telegram channel, shows Goldberg-Polin reading a message that blames Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for the hostages remaining in captivity.

Goldberg-Polin’s parents, Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin, greeted the video with a mix of anguish and relief. It was the first confirmation that Goldberg-Polin is alive, after video from Oct. 7 showed him being taken to Gaza with a severe grenade wound that severed part of his arm. Goldberg and Polin authorized the release of the video to encourage the leaders who have been negotiating a hostage deal to “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,” Polin said in a video. 

National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Wednesday that he planned to call Goldberg and Polin. “This is an innocent young man being held hostage by a terrorist organization and he should be released immediately without condition and without delay,” Sullivan told reporters. 

Biden has not commented on the video of Goldberg-Polin, which was given to administration officials earlier this week, and the White House declined to say whether he planned to do so. Earlier, when speaking about the passage of the national security bill, Biden said that “everything we do is guided by the ultimate goal of bringing these hostages home, securing a ceasefire, and setting the conditions for an enduring peace.” 

Also on Wednesday, President Joe Biden met at the White House with Abigail Idan, a 4-year-old dual U.S.-Israeli citizen who was held hostage for nearly two months, and whose parents were killed during the Oct. 7 attacks.

“I was just sitting with the president of the United States, going through all of the Americans being held hostage and what we can do about them, what their status is. It’s something he’s personally very focused on, even as he celebrates Abigail’s release,” Sullivan said. “This is something we will continue to make a paramount priority for President Biden and for the United States.”

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