Hamas, the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, has released a video of Mia Schem, a 21-year-old French-Israeli woman who was abducted by the group during its attack on a music festival in Israel on October 7. The video, which was posted on Hamas’s Telegram channel on Monday, shows Shem lying on a bed with her right arm bandaged and a long scar visible. She says she is in Gaza, where she underwent a three-hour surgery, and asks to be returned to her family as soon as possible.
Schem is one of the dozens of hostages that Hamas claims to have taken to Gaza after its assault on the Supernova festival near the border, which killed 1,300 people and injured thousands more. It was the deadliest attack in Israel’s history and sparked a war between Israel and Hamas that has killed more than 2,800 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis so far.
The Israeli military said it was aware of the video and condemned Hamas as a “murderous terrorist organization” that is responsible for the “abduction and murder of babies, women, children, and elderly”. It said it was using “all intelligence and operational measures” to bring back the captives and was in constant contact with Shem’s family.
Shem’s mother, Keren Scharf Schem, said she did not know if her daughter was alive until she saw the video and that she was terrified and in pain. She pleaded with the world to “bring my baby back home” and to “stop this terror”. She also said her daughter was very strong and would never give up.
The French president, Emmanuel Macron, who is on an official visit to Albania, denounced the video as “an odious act” and demanded Shem’s unconditional release. He said France was working with its partners to free the French hostages held by Hamas. He also called the video “an ignominy” that showed Hamas’s cruelty.
The video is the first footage of any of the hostages held by Hamas in Gaza. The group’s military wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, said it had about 200 hostages, while the rest were held by other militant factions in Gaza. It also said it could not determine the exact number of hostages due to the constant Israeli bombardment.
The New York Times analyzed the video and suggested that parts of it were filmed six days ago. It is unclear when and where the video was taken and what condition Schem is in at the moment.