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Hamas releases hostage video of Franco-Israeli woman

The Islamist group Hamas released a video on Monday showing a statement from one of the captives seized in last week’s devastating attack on Israel.

In the footage, the woman, whose injured arm is shown being treated by an unidentified medical worker, identifies herself as 21-year-old Mia Schem and asks to be returned to her family as quickly as possible.

A representative of the family, which was among a group of French families that appealed last week to President Emmanuel Macron to help free their missing relatives, confirmed her identity to Reuters.

At least 199 Israelis and foreigners were seized by Hamas gunmen and taken captive in the attack, which killed 1,300 people, the largest number of dead in a single day in Israel’s 75-year history.

The Israeli military issued a statement, saying it was in constant touch with Schem’s family and condemning Hamas as a “murderous terrorist organization”. It said it was using “all intelligence and operational measures” for the return of the captives.

“In the video, Hamas is trying to portray itself as a humane organization, while it is a responsible for the murder and abduction of babies, women, children, and elderly,” it said.

Earlier, Hamas’ armed wing said non-Israelis kidnapped on Oct. 7, were “guests” who would be released “when circumstances allow”.

(Published 17 October 2023, 02:06 IST)

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