Hamas hostage’s parents tell him to ‘stay strong, survive’ after video shows Israeli-American alive in Gaza

The Hamas militant group has released a propaganda video of Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, showing him alive but with an amputated left arm.

Mr Goldberg-Polin was among the hundreds of people abducted by Hamas and other Islamist groups during their 7 October attack on southern Israel that led to the ongoing war in Gaza.

The new video, published on Hamas’s Telegram channel, shows Mr Goldberg-Polin wearing a red shirt and with his left hand missing. The 23-year-old was attending the Nova music festival in southern Israel when Hamas attacked and was injured by a grenade.

The Hamas video is the first proof of life provided publicly for Mr Goldberg-Polin since his capture. He is seen with a buzz cut and looking gaunt and pale, and makes comments criticising the Israeli government for abandoning the people who are currently held hostage by Hamas and are living “in hell”.

“Do you not want to end this nightmare? At a time when you are having your Passover meals with your families, think of us hostages under the ground, without water, food or sunlight or the medical attention I’ve needed for so long,” he says.

The date, time and the location of the video is not immediately available.

Mr Goldberg-Polin’s parents released their own video saying they were relieved to see him alive but expressed concerns about his health.

Addressing her son directly, Rachel Goldberg-Polin said: “Hersh, if you can hear this, we heard your voice today for the first time in 201 days and if you can hear us, we are telling you: ‘We love you, stay strong, survive.’”

“We are here today with a plea to all of the leaders of the parties who have been negotiating to date,” said his father, Jon Polin, naming Egypt, Israel, Qatar, the United States and Hamas.

“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,” he said.

Though there was no date on the video, Mr Goldberg-Polin references the weeklong Jewish holiday of Passover, which began on Monday.

The families of hostages still held by Hamas have repeatedly criticised Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government for not doing enough to secure their release.

Around 250 people are believed to be abducted by Hamas and other militant groups on 7 October. These groups likly still have around 100 hostages in their captivity and the remains of nearly 30 others.

Most of the rest were freed in November in exchange for the release of 240 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel.

With the escalation in conflict and increased attacks on civilians in the Gaza strip, the US, Qatar and Egypt have spent months trying to broker another cease-fire and hostage release, but the talks appear to have stalled.

Hamas has said it will not release the remaining hostages unless Israel ends the war, which has killed over 34,000 Palestinians, according to local officials.