Father of Hersh Goldberg-Polin: We didn’t know he was alive until yesterday, video gave us strength to keep going

Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, held captive in Gaza since October 7, in a Hamas propaganda video released on April 24, 2024. (Screenshot: Telegram)
Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, held captive in Gaza since October 7, in a Hamas propaganda video released on April 24, 2024. (Screenshot: Telegram)

Jon Polin, the father of Hamas hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin who appeared in a propaganda video published by the terror group yesterday, tells the Kan public broadcaster that the video of his son has given him and his wife Rachel Goldberg even more motivation to fight for his release.

“It’s not clear who wrote what he said,” Polin says, acknowledging the high likelihood that Hersh was reading from a script written by his captors. “The part I’m focusing on is the last part, when even if he read it off a page, he spoke directly to me and Rachel, to our daughters Libby and Orly.”

At the end of the nearly three-minute-long video, Hersh addressed his family, saying he knows “you are doing everything for me to return home as soon as possible,” and asked them to stay strong for him and to keep fighting.

“We’ve been working to bring Hersh home for 200 days, and after yesterday, we feel even more strongly that we can’t stop now, we have to continue,” Polin tells Kan.

“Until yesterday, we didn’t know he was alive,” he continues. “We hoped he was, but we didn’t know.”

Rachel Goldberg-Polin and Jon Polin, parents of hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, issue a video statement pleading for a hostage deal and urging him to stay strong and survive, April 24, 2024. (Courtesy)

The video is the first sign of life that the Goldberg-Polin family has received of Hersh since October 7, when he was seen being pushed onto a Hamas pickup truck, his left arm blown off from the elbow down and wrapped in a bloody tourniquet.

“We cried, my wife and I sat and watched the video and cried,” Polin says, adding that he has watched the new video upwards of 20 times. “There were so many emotions, but at the core, for the first time in 200 days, we saw him and heard him.”

“I’ve been watching and watching it to draw strength from it, and also to understand what the purpose of it was – why did they release it yesterday specifically? I have no answers, but a lot of questions, and I’ll keep watching it.”

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