| 11 December 2023, Monday |

Family of Franco-Israeli woman held in Gaza begs for her return

After the Islamist organization posted a video showing the 21-year-old French-Israeli woman alive last week during its surprise attack near the Gaza Strip, her family made an appeal for her release on Tuesday.

In the video that Hamas posted late on Monday, Mia Schem identifies herself and requests to be repatriated to her family as soon as possible while having her damaged arm treated by an unnamed medical professional.

“I saw that she was in stable condition but I am very worried about her,” her mother Keren Schem told reporters at a press conference, holding a photo of her daughter, who was seized at a dance party, along with many of the other hostages abducted into Gaza.

“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 and now she’s in Gaza.”

Israel says 199 hostages were taken to Gaza during the militants’ raid last week, which killed 1,300 people, the largest number of dead in a single day in Israel’s 75-year history.

The video of Schem was the first such footage released by Hamas since the attack and comes ahead of what is expected to be a major ground operation in Gaza by Israeli forces, which have bombarded the enclave for days, killing more than 2,700 Gazans.

“This is psychological warfare,” an Israeli army spokesman said of the video. “With the goals of this war to dismantle Hamas, the hostages remain a key priority in balancing our efforts.”

  • Reuters