Hostage Pleads for Return Home: Hamas Captivity in Gaza
French-Israeli Woman Held Hostage
A recently released video by Hamas shows Mia Schem, a 21-year-old French-Israeli woman, lying on a bed with her arm being bandaged. She bears a fresh scar, a visible reminder of her captivity in the Gaza Strip. This footage is the first glimpse of any of the dozens of hostages held by Hamas. Speaking directly into the camera, Schem, although pale, sits up straight with her head held high. She reveals that she was injured and taken to Gaza, pleading to be returned to her family. The background audio of loud rumbling accentuates the urgency of the situation.
A Mother’s Plea
In a heart-wrenching appeal, Schem’s mother, Keren Scharf Schem, urged the government and world leaders to take action and bring her daughter back home. Holding a picture of Mia, she begged, “I am begging the world to bring my baby back home, she only went to a festival party to have some fun and now she is in Gaza and she is not the only one.” The worried mother recounts how she had no knowledge of her daughter’s condition until the release of the video. Scharf Schem expresses her relief at seeing her daughter alive, though she appears terrified and in great pain, and seems to be reciting words given to her by her captors. She pleads with the world to stop the terror and rescue her daughter and the other hostages.
Resilience and Hope
Schem’s mother believes her daughter’s strength and resilience will help her survive this ordeal. She is confident that Mia will never give up. While CNN cannot independently verify the authenticity of the video or Schem’s current condition, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have been in contact with her family since they were informed of her kidnapping by Hamas. Maj. Libby Weiss, spokesperson for the IDF, describes the release of the video as another psychological warfare tactic employed by Hamas against the civilian population of Israel.
Number of Hostages and IDF Response
Hamas’ military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, claims to hold at least 200-250 hostages in Gaza. Abu Obaida, the spokesperson for the Brigades, states that they are responsible for approximately 200 hostages, while the remainder are held by other militant groups within Gaza. Due to continuous Israeli bombardment, an exact count of the hostages in the strip is currently impossible. The IDF has been conducting airstrikes and artillery attacks relentlessly in response to a deadly Hamas terror attack. Palestinian news agency WAFA reports that more than 2,800 people have been killed in Gaza. The Israeli military confirmed that at least 199 people were being held hostage in Gaza. The IDF is using all available resources to secure the release of the hostages. They accuse Hamas of presenting itself as a humanitarian organization while engaging in terrorist acts that result in the kidnapping and killing of innocent civilians.
Promises and Tragedy
Abu Obaida assures that hostages with foreign citizenship will be released as soon as the opportunity arises. He also claims that 22 hostages, including an Israeli artist, have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. CNN is unable to verify these claims independently. Mia Schem was taken hostage during the Nova festival near the Gaza Strip after a Hamas terror attack that has resulted in the deaths of at least 1,400 people. The IDF found the bodies of at least 260 victims at the festival site. Schem managed to send a message to a friend at 7:17 a.m. on Saturday morning, pleading for help as they were under fire. Schem’s brother, Eli Schem, speaks directly to Mia through CNN, expressing the family’s love and commitment to bringing her back home.
Read More of this Story at www.cnn.com – 2023-10-17 13:00:00
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