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Parents of Hamas hostage express a range of emotions upon viewing video of kidnapped son

Parents of Hamas Hostage Express a Range of Emotions Upon Viewing Video of Kidnapped Son

In a heart-wrenching turn of events, the parents of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, an American who has been held hostage by Hamas for over six months, experienced a rollercoaster of emotions upon viewing a recently released video of their son. The video, which surfaced on a Hamas-run Telegram channel, showed a man identifying himself as Goldberg-Polin and pleading for his release. The couple, Jon Polin and Rachel Goldberg, spoke on “Good Morning America” about their overwhelming relief at seeing their son alive but also expressed concern for his well-being.

Jon Polin, Goldberg-Polin’s father, shared his initial reaction to the video, saying, “First and foremost, just a huge sense of relief and gratitude to both see him and hear him. Something about that multi-sensory experience was really overwhelming. He’s alive.” The couple firmly believes that the video is recent, providing them with reassurance that their son is still alive.

In the heavily edited video, Goldberg-Polin can be seen appealing to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to continue their efforts in securing the release of the hostages. His heartfelt words to his family were filled with love and longing, as he said, “I love you so much and miss you so much. I know you’re doing your best to get me home as soon as possible. I want you to stay strong for me and not stop until we all return home in peace.”

Rachel Goldberg, his mother, admitted that she couldn’t fully absorb the content of her son’s message during her first viewing of the video. Overwhelmed with emotion, she shared, “I wasn’t even listening to the content, I was just hearing my only son’s voice. Seeing him move and try to look into his eyes… it was very bittersweet. And it was truly overwhelming.” The video served as a poignant reminder of the intense emotional toll that the past 201 days have taken on their family.

Describing their son as a “curious” and “laid-back person,” Goldberg-Polin’s parents have been navigating this nightmare with unwavering determination. Rachel Goldberg explained that her mantra throughout this ordeal has been, “Stay strong, survive.” And she continues to hold onto this mantra, repeating it passionately, “We love you, stay strong, survive.”

However, the parents expressed their concern for their son’s health, noting that he appears medically compromised and fragile in the video. This realization only strengthens their plea for his safe return. Rachel Goldberg emotionally added, “And I definitely, you know, more than ever, after seeing him and seeing that he is clearly medically compromised, medically fragile, that is my continued plea to him, to his soul.”

The release of this video has brought both hope and anguish to Goldberg-Polin’s parents. While they are grateful to see their son alive and hear his voice, they are acutely aware of the challenges he faces and the uncertain future that lies ahead. Their determination to bring him home remains unyielding, and they hope that the international community will rally together to secure the safe release of all hostages held by Hamas.

The story of Hersh Goldberg-Polin serves as a stark reminder of the pain and anguish experienced by families affected by conflicts around the world. It is a testament to the resilience of parents who refuse to give up on their children and a call to action for governments and individuals alike to work towards a peaceful resolution. As the world watches and waits for news of Goldberg-Polin’s release, his parents remain steadfast in their plea for his safe return.

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