Video of kidnapped son brings 'total mix' of emotions, say parents of Hamas hostage

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Thursday, April 25, 2024
Video of son kidnapped by Hamas brings mix of emotions: Parents
Video of son kidnapped by Hamas brings 'total mix' of emotions: Parents

NEW YORK -- The parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was taken hostage by Hamas more than six months ago, felt a "total mix of emotions" when a new video of their son was released on Wednesday.

"First and foremost, just a huge sense of relief and gratitude to both see him and hear him. Something about that multi-sensory was really overwhelming. He's alive," Jon Polin, his father, said in an interview on "Good Morning America" on Thursday. "Assuming this video is current, which we believe it is, he's alive."

A video released on Wednesday on a Hamas-run Telegram channel showed a man who identified himself as Goldberg-Polin, a 24-year-old American who was captured at the Nova Music Festival on Oct. 7.

Josh Einiger has more on the chilling video.

He had this message for his family:

"I love you so much and miss you so much," Goldberg-Polin said. "I know you're doing your best to get me home as soon as possible. I want you to stay strong for me, and not stop until we all return home in peace."

In the heavily edited video, the Israeli-American hostage asks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to continue working to secure the release of the hostages.

New images have been released of an American taken hostage by Hamas.

Rachel Goldberg, his mother, said on Thursday she couldn't pay attention to the words her son was saying when she first watched the new video.

"I wasn't even listening to the content, I was just hearing my only son's voice. Seeing him move and try to look into his eyes," she said. "Any parent, anyone, anyone who has parents, can imagine after 201 days, more than half a year of doubt and fear and angst and trauma to have that, it was very bittersweet. And it was truly overwhelming."

Goldberg-Polin's parents in a "GMA" interview in October described their son as a "curious" and a "laid-back person."

Goldberg said at the time that her mantra had become, "Stay strong, survive. Stay strong, survive."

She repeated that mantra on Thursday.

"We love you, stay strong, survive," she said. "And I definitely, you know, more than ever, after seeing him and seeing that he is clearly medically compromised, medically fragile, that is my continued plea to him, to his soul."