Macron slams video of French-Israeli Mia Schem as 'ignominy'

IDF says it expects more Hamas clips of hostages, brands them ‘psychological terror’

Military says that with propaganda clip showing woman abducted during massacre of 260 at rave, the terror group is masquerading as ‘humanitarian organization’

Families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza since the group's murderous infiltration of Israel on October 7, 2023, protest outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. October 14, 2023. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)
Families of Israelis held hostage by Hamas terrorists in Gaza since the group's murderous infiltration of Israel on October 7, 2023, protest outside the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv. October 14, 2023. (Tomer Neuberg/FLASH90)

The Israeli military said Tuesday that it expected more gut-wrenching propaganda videos from Hamas showing hostages it kidnapped during the terror group’s unprecedented October 7 onslaught in southern Israel, dismissing the tactic as “psychological terror.”

Hamas on Monday night released the first clip showing an Israeli-French hostage being held in the Gaza Strip, as it said some 200-250 captives were in the coastal enclave.

The short video showed a young woman, 21-year-old Mia Schem, being treated after she was wounded in her arm, and later speaking to the camera. The Times of Israel has opted not to republish the footage.

Schem was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists while participating in the desert rave in Kibbutz Re’im, where the gunmen killed over 260 partygoers as part of the devastating massacre in which over 1,300 people were slain, the vast majority civilians.

In addition to the Israeli military, French President Emmanuel Macron also condemned Hamas on Tuesday for publishing the video, demanding her unconditional release.

IDF spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said in a briefing on Tuesday morning that the military expected further such clips soon.

“This is psychological terror by Hamas against the citizens of Israel. We understand that there will be more videos like this. In this video, Hamas tries to present itself as a humanitarian organization while it is in fact a murderous terror group,” Hagari said.

“How did a 21-year-old girl who went to a party to dance, end up being kidnapped by a murderous terror group in the heart of Gaza?” he asked.

A screenshot from a clip published by the Hamas terror group on October 16, 2023, showing Mia Schem, an Israeli woman abducted by terrorists from a music festival during a massacre by Hamas gunmen on October 7, 2023. (Screenshot: X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Schem appears to have been singled out for the video by Hamas since she is a dual Israeli-French citizen, and the terror group seems to want international audiences to think that it is not harming foreign nationals.

The Israel Defense Forces said Schem’s family had been notified last week that she was being held in Gaza.

Schem’s family reacted to the clip, saying: “We’re happy.”

“I see that she’s very terrified, in a lot of pain, and I can see that she’s saying what they’re telling her to say,” said Kerem Schem, Mia’s mother.

Macron, in a statement carried by the Elysee presidential palace, said that “it is an ignominy to take innocent people hostage and put them on show in this odious way.”

The statement said Macron was calling for Schem’s “immediate and unconditional release.”

France was “working with its partners to free French hostages held by Hamas,” it added.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna held talks on Sunday with the families of people who had been killed or abducted in Hamas’s assault, including Schem’s.

Hundreds flee gunmen at a music festival near Kibbutz Re’im, October 7, 2023. (Used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The release of the video came as Hamas military spokesman Abu Obeida said there was no definitive count of the number of prisoners due to “security and practical difficulties,” but said there were 200-250 in Gaza and that 200 of them were in the hands of Hamas. Israel has confirmed there are at least 199 captives.

In a televised statement Monday night, Abu Obeida said that about 50 others were held by other “resistance factions and in other places.”

Foreign hostages are “our guests,” Abu Obeida claimed, vowing to protect them and to release them whenever conditions “on the ground” allow for it.

Palestinians take a kidnapped Israeli civilian, center, from the Kfar Aza kibbutz into the Gaza Strip on October 7, 2023. (Hatem Ali/AP)

Khaled Mashaal, a prominent Hamas figure and the former political leader of the group, said in a separate interview that there are 6,000 Palestinian detainees in Israeli prisons, boasting that Hamas holds enough hostages — including high-ranking officials of the IDF’s Gaza Division — to free all of them.

He also said that Gazans will not leave the Strip, despite the war, and that their displacement would harm Egyptian national security and would pose a danger for Jordan, implying that a mass exodus of Palestinians to a neighboring country could set a precedent for the West Bank.

He praised Lebanon’s Hezbollah terror group for “taking steps” against Israel by conducting limited attacks along the northern border, but noted that Hamas needs more support.

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