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Hamas releases video of Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin

The 23-year-old Israeli American angrily asks Netanyahu's government to bring home the hostages in the video released Wednesday.
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A video of Israeli American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin was released Wednesday by Hamas' military wing, Al-Qassam Brigades.

Speaking to the camera in Hebrew, the 23-year-old, whose left arm is severed below his elbow, angrily asks the Israeli government to bring home the hostages, as the war in Gaza entered its 200th day Tuesday.

It was unclear when the video was recorded or the conditions under which he spoke, given that he is a Hamas captive. It is likewise not clear if he is still alive.

In a separate video shot Oct. 7, Goldberg-Polin was seen injured by a grenade blast before being loaded into a truck during the chaotic violence at the Supernova music festival in southern Israel near kibbutz Re'im.

He was among 250 people taken captive that day, according to Israeli officials, who said 1,200 people were killed as Hamas launched multipronged attacks on the country, sparking the war in the Gaza Strip. More than 34,000 people, including some 13,000 children, have been killed since Israel launched its military campaign in Gaza, according to the Palestinian enclave’s Health Ministry.

Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin in a video
Israeli American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin in a video released by Hamas' military wing Wednesday.Al Qassam Brigade Telegram channel

Wearing a dark red shirt and sitting on a gray plastic chair, he references his 200 days in captivity and a holiday. Although he does not specifically reference which holiday, Jewish people celebrated Passover on Monday night.

He also criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for having yet to strike a deal for the release of the remaining hostages in Gaza.

Al-Qassam Brigades released the video amid months of sputtering negotiations between Israel and Hamas for a cease-fire and hostage release deal.

Goldberg-Polin said that the government should think of the hostages whom he described as living underground and in need of medical attention.

He added that 70 detainees had been killed in Israeli airstrikes.

NBC News could not independently verify this claim and Israeli officials have previously said about 130 people remain in captivity in Gaza, with 30 of them believed to be dead. As many as six of the hostages still in Gaza are U.S. citizens.

At the end of the 2-minute, 43-second video, Goldberg-Polin told his parents that he loved them and missed them. “I expect and hope to see you very soon after all this tragedy is over,” he said.

Israel has criticized videos like this as psychological warfare.

In a statement, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said, "Hersh’s cry is the collective cry of all the hostages — their time is rapidly running out. With each passing day, the fear of losing more innocent lives grows stronger."

"This distressing video serves as an urgent call to take swift and decisive action to resolve this horrific humanitarian crisis and ensure the safe return of our loved ones," the statement said.

A U.S. official confirmed that the administration received the video Monday and was in touch with Goldberg-Polin's family. The FBI’s Hostage Recovery Fusion Cell is examining the video for any information about his captivity.

In an interview with NBC News earlier this month, Goldberg-Polin's mother, Rachel Goldberg-Polin, who has become a vocal advocate in the effort to free the remaining hostages in Gaza, talked about the uncertainty and the unbearable wait that families like hers have had to endure.

Rachel Goldberg-Polin said that her son had hidden in a roadside bomb shelter with 27 other people, but militants threw hand grenades and sprayed gunfire into the bunker, killing many and injuring others, including her son.

Survivors and video from the Hamas GoPro camera that was shared with the family revealed that Goldberg-Polin had half of his left arm blown off before he was taken to Gaza. 

His last text messages to his parents after the attack started and before he was taken hostage were: “I love you” and “I’m sorry.”

Rachel Goldberg-Polin said she believed that Netanyahu’s government should compromise in order to stop the suffering in both Israel and Gaza, and sees her son and other hostages' suffering, along with the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza, as innocent people paying the price on both sides.

“I’m happy that I’m upset when I see that the other side is also in pain, that I’m not celebrating their pain because that would mean that I’m not human anymore,” she said. 

She added that she hoped there is a mother like her in Gaza who may be trying to help her son.