Mother of Israeli hostage in video pleads for safe return home: 'Bring my baby back'

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Hamas’s Al-Qassam Brigades on Telegram released unverified footage allegedly showing one of the Israeli captives. The video shows a dazed Mia Schem, 21, having her arm wrapped with bandages. It was the first sign of life from any of the hostages since Gaza-based fighters smashed through border fortifications on Oct. 7, killing more than 1,400 people in Israel.

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“I’m Mia Shem, 21 years old from Shoham. Currently, I’m in Gaza. I returned early Saturday morning from Sderot—I was at a party. I was seriously injured in my hand,” the woman says, calling on Israel to “get me out of here as soon as possible.”

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The video appears to show a young woman receiving medical care in Gaza. Shem was kidnapped while taking part in a music festival in the desert near Kibbutz Re’im, where Hamas terrorists also massacred at least 260 festival-goers, JNS reports.

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“I didn’t know if she’s dead or alive until yesterday,” her mother, Keren Schem, said at a news conference. “All I knew is that she might be kidnapped. I’m begging the world to bring my baby back home. She only went to a party, to a festival party to have some fun. Now she’s in Gaza.”

Hamas has taken between 200 and 250 people hostage in the Gaza Strip, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida claimed in a televised statement on Monday evening.

Some 200 hostages are currently being held by Hamas, according to JNS. Another 50 are in the hands of other terror factions in the Strip, Abu Obeida claims. Global Affairs Canada says three Canadians are missing. Family members fear they have been held hostage.

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“We assure our people, our prisoners and their families, in every occupation prison—without exception—that, Inshallah [‘God willing’], we are determined to bring joy to every Palestinian home,” said Abu Obeida, apparently hinting at a possible prisoner-exchange deal.

Hamas terrorists killed at least 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 4,100 in a massive offensive launched from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.

About 199 hostages, among them foreign nationals, have been taken to Gaza, Israel Defense Forces Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel announced on Monday.

Israeli hostage Mia Schem.
Israeli hostage Mia Schem, 21, speaks in an image taken from a video released by Hamas on Oct. 16, 2023. Photo by Screen grab

Abu Obeida said Hamas kidnapped “a group of prisoners of different nationalities,” because fighters didn’t couldn’t “verify their identities during the battle,” according to JNS.

“Any fighter in the occupation army, we consider him a direct enemy, and we will deal with him accordingly, even if he becomes a prisoner and regardless of his other nationality,” warned the spokesman.

— Additional reporting from the Associated Press and the National Post

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