The anger of Mia Shem, one of the released Israeli hostages: “There are no civilians or innocents in Gaza”

Mia Schem He denounces having experienced a “holocaust”. The young woman of French-Israeli nationality was one of more than 240 people kidnapped by Hamas on October 7th. Schem was filmed at the Supernova festival, where at least 260 people died, and was held in Gaza for a total of 54 days, eight agonizing weeks during which she feared for her life. The militants of the Palestinian Islamist group managed to capture this 21-year-old girl and one of her friends. Eli Toledano, as they tried to escape by car from the facility built in the middle of the Negev Desert. She was shot in the arm “at very, very close range” and underwent surgery in Gaza a few days after the abduction. He is still in rehabilitation. However, her friend did not suffer the same fate. The Israeli army identified his body in early December during a ground operation in Gaza. Shem, for her part, was released on November 30 as part of the first – and so far only – ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.

Almost a month later, the young woman gave her statement. In two television interviews he described his personal suffering in Gaza for the first time. A statement that agrees to some extent with the versions of other released hostages, women and minors, who are subjected to conditions that will have consequences. Schem spent her first few days in the home of a Gaza family with young children who opened the door of the room where she was being held to watch her, according to her story broadcast in Channel 12. «I started asking myself questions: Why am I in a single-family home? Why are there children here? “Why is there a woman here?” he says. “There is a terrorist who watches you 24 hours a day, who rapes you with his eyes… a devilish look.” The young woman confessed that her biggest fear was being raped. According to a recent Hamas investigation, Hamas militants sexually abused girls and women during the October 7 attacks New York Times.

“It is important to me to reveal the real situation of the people living in Gaza, who they really are and what I experienced there. I’ve been through hell. “Everyone there is a terrorist… there is not an innocent civilian, not a single one,” he said. Channel 13. For Schem, “they do not exist.” He admitted to feeling “pure hatred” toward the nearly two million Palestinians who live in the overcrowded Gaza Strip. “They are families that are controlled by Hamas. “They are children who are taught from birth that Israel is Palestine and that their only purpose is to hate Jews,” he said.

It is not the first time that the name of the young French-Israeli girl appears in the local and international press. Shem became one of the most talked about hostages after he appeared in a video released by Hamas 10 days after the October 7 attack. It was the first footage showing one of the people kidnapped by the Palestinian Islamist group. Not even his family knew if he was still alive. Lying on a bed, with a thick bandage on her left arm and with the thundering sound of the bombings in the background, Schem told her story. She said that “everything was fine” and that she was receiving medication – a detail she denied on Israeli television – but that she needed to be returned to her family “as soon as possible”. The young woman said it was “a propaganda video.”

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Friends and relatives of the people kidnapped by Hamas have feared for their lives since the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip began, in which almost 22,000 people have died so far. The fear increased after the death of Fuad El-Talalka, Yotam Haim And Alon Shamriz, three hostages killed by Israeli soldiers in Gaza City while asking for help. Shem admitted that the Israeli army bombings occurred near the area where she was being held. One of the explosions even shattered the windows of the apartment building, he said. “I couldn’t hear anything for three days.” But that wasn’t a problem for her: “They made me feel good that they hadn’t forgotten me.”

Schem also revealed some details related to his release. He said his transfer to one of the Hamas tunnels took place days before his final departure from Gaza. There he met other hostages for the first time since his kidnapping. He felt that some of them “had already lost hope.” The young French-Israeli woman reappeared in a second video released by Hamas in which she recounted her experiences as a hostage. “The people are very nice, very nice to me,” he replies in a van on the way to Rafah, the only escape route from Gaza not controlled by Israel and the transfer point for the kidnapped people. “It’s all ok”.

The interviewer of Channel 12 He asked Schem about this video fragment and asked him for his answer. The young woman justified herself: “They held a camera in my face and told me: ‘Say that we treated you well, that the people of Gaza are friendly and good.’ What else could I do? “The most difficult thing in the world” for Schem was leaving more hostages behind. “They told me, ‘Mia, please make sure they don’t forget us.’ And I asked her forgiveness for leaving. The Israeli authorities estimate that a total of 129 of the original 240 people are still being held in the Gaza Strip. They are in the custody of Hamas and its junior partner Islamic Jihad and are awaiting release as early as 2024.

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