Former Hamas hostage Mia Schem, 21, was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday evening and was greeted by a crowd of cheering neighbors as she returned to her family’s home in Shoham, central Israel.
Schem was taken hostage from the Supernova music festival on October 7, when thousands of Hamas-led terrorists burst into southern Israel, killing more than 1,200 people and seizing some 240 hostages.
Some 360 partygoers were killed during the assault on the music festival, and another 36 were taken hostage.
Schem was shot in the arm during the attack, and following her release, her aunt said that while in captivity she had been operated on by a Palestinian veterinarian.
Upon her arrival in Shoham on Tuesday evening, Schem was greeted by dozens of cheering neighbors standing under umbrellas, holding Israeli flags and blue and white balloons as they applauded her return.
In a statement to the press, her mother Keren Schem confirmed that Mia would be returning to the hospital in a few days to undergo surgery on her arm.
“Her rehabilitation process will take time but the hard part is behind us,” Keren Schem said. “It is joy mixed with a lot of sadness, when all the hostages are at home we can be happy.”
“We want to say thank you to everyone who supported us, to all the people of Israel,” she added.
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Schem, who is a French-Israeli dual national, was one of the 110 hostages freed during a Qatar-negotiated temporary ceasefire last week. An additional 137 people are believed to remain in Hamas captivity, including 20 women, two children and 115 men.
She decided to attend the Supernova festival on a whim, and told her mother the night before that she was going to a party down south, but that she wasn’t sure where it was located.
Her family first understood that something had happened to her at about 7 a.m. on the morning of October 7.
Her mother said she had attempted to reach Schem as news of the Hamas attack began spreading, but that her calls went unanswered.
The New York Times reported that she eventually heard from one of the organizers of the party, a friend of her daughter’s, that Schem had sent a text message at 7:17 a.m.: “They are shooting at us, come save us.”
The next time her family received an update about her was on October 16, when she appeared in a Hamas propaganda video in which she reported that her arm had been operated on and asked to be returned to Israel.