Hamas has released a hostage ‘proof of life’ video which is now being widely shared online and reported on, per Israeli media:
The short video shows a young woman, 21-year-old Mia Schem, being treated after she was wounded in her arm, and later speaking to the camera.
Schem was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on October 7 while taking part in the desert rave in Kibbutz Re’im, where the gunmen also massacred over 260 festival-goers.
She tells the camera she was operated on for three hours and that “I’m being cared for, I’m getting medications. I’m only asking for me to be returned home as soon as possible, to my family, to my parents, to my siblings. Please get me out of here as soon as possible.” Schem’s family reacts to the clip, saying: “We’re happy.”
Hamas releases its first footage of a hostage. The group says it is providing medical treatment to her. Though I think this is a poor attempt to show they are treating the hostages well. The hostage appears to be Israeli. pic.twitter.com/JDATGYenCr
— Joe Truzman (@JoeTruzman) October 16, 2023
The IDF has reacted to the video, saying Hams “tries to present itself as a humanitarian organization while in fact it is a murderous terror group, responsible for the murders and kidnappings of babies, women, children and the elderly.”
There’s growing speculation that the IDF hasn’t launched a ground invasion yet due to threats being made by Iran and its ally Lebanese Hezbollah. And it’s not just enemies of Israel that are saying this, but The Jerusalem Post reports Monday that a prime reason for the offensive being stalled is the fear Hezbollah will get involved.
However, the IDF Northern Command has been tasked with ensuring complete readiness of defenses on the Lebanese border in case Hezbollah does get involved. The JPost writes:
A number of factors seem to have caused a delay, but sources have told The Jerusalem Post that one factor has been a growing concern that Hezbollah is waiting for the moment that most IDF ground forces are committed to Gaza to open a full front with the IDF in the north.
Iran is meanwhile ratcheting threats, perhaps as part of a strategy to bolster those voices inside Israel who are urging caution and restraint. Iran’s foreign minister has issued an ‘all options on the table’ kind of statement:
Conferred with my counterparts from 🇹🇳,🇲🇾,🇵🇰. Underlined the need to immediately stop Zionist crimes&murder in Gaza&to dispatch humanitarian aid. I stressed that time is running out for political solutions; probable spread of war in other fronts is approaching unavoidable stage.
— H.Amirabdollahian امیرعبداللهیان (@Amirabdolahian) October 16, 2023