Hamas has released disturbing video footage, claiming that they have kidnapped an Israeli music festival attendee who was taken to Gaza by the terrorist group. The video, shared on Hamas's official Telegram channel, shows a young woman speaking in Hebrew, saying that she is from central Israel.
The woman, Maya Shem, who was taken captive during the Nova festival, can be heard in the video saying that her kidnappers from Hamas are looking after her. She pleads, "I only ask that you get me out of here as soon as possible. Please." Hamas is reportedly holding 199 hostages who were kidnapped during their surprise attack on Israel on October 7.
Captive's Desperate Plea
This is the first video released by Hamas featuring a hostage purportedly speaking from captivity. The caption accompanying the video indicates that the person, Maya Shem, was abducted on October 7 during a Hamas attack on southern Israel, MailOnline reported.
MailOnline also published a still image from the video after the 21-year-old's family gave the outlet permission to do so.
Hamas launched a surprise attack across the Israel border around 10 days ago, and one of their initial targets was the Nova festival.
During this attack at the desert dance festival, numerous festivalgoers were shot dead by Hamas, and others were kidnapped and taken as hostages to Gaza.
In a video of one such kidnapping, 26-year-old student Noa Argamani was seen desperately pleading for her life while on the back of a Hamas militant's motorcycle.
She can be heard screaming, "Don't kill me! No, no, no." Noa has not been seen since.
Avi Nathan, her boyfriend, was left behind in a state of distress in the desert, and he is also missing. Following the attack, Noa's father, Yaacov, gave an interview to Israeli television on Sunday.
"I was hoping this is a mistake that it's not true. And then in the hospital a guy asked me if I wanted to see. I said yes and then I know for sure it is Noa... she was so petrified, so scared."
He then began to uncontrollably sob. "I was always so protective but in this moment I couldn't protect her,:" he told Israeli broadcaster Channel 12 News.
"All my life since she was born I have tried to protect and hug her, support and love her. I wish I could at this difficult moment at least encourage her or say something to her."
In the Custody of Hamas
On Monday, the Israeli military confirmed an increase in the number of hostages taken back to Gaza, with the count now reaching at least 199 individuals.
More than 1,400 people have been killed in the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas on October 7. Tragically, this was followed by a significant number of casualties in Gaza resulting from retaliatory Israeli air strikes.
The Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) had initially prepared for a ground invasion of Palestinian territory, but this was postponed at the eleventh hour over the weekend, reportedly due to new intelligence concerning hostages taken by Hamas.
Aaron Cohen, a former Israeli special operator, revealed to Fox News on Sunday that the reason for postponing the invasion due to bad weather might not be the complete or genuine explanation.
He suggested that this delay could have been a deceptive tactic, granting the IDF additional time to execute hostage rescue operations—an utmost priority for the Israeli army and government.
"You're about to see Israel [do] what it does best: rescue good people. So stand by," he said.
The delay has allowed Gazans more time to seek refuge in the southern part of the region. However, it is evident that Hamas is obstructing Palestinians from moving to safer areas.