April 25, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Releases Video of American-Israeli Hostage

April 25, 2024 | Flash Brief

Hamas Releases Video of American-Israeli Hostage

Latest Developments

Hamas released a video of American-Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin on April 24, reportedly at the request of Qatar. In the video, Goldberg-Polin is seen seated in front of a white wall with a shaved head and a mutilated left arm, part of which was blown off during Hamas’s October 7 attack. The video is undated, but Goldberg-Polin says that he has been held captive for nearly 200 days, suggesting that Hamas filmed the video recently. The 23-year-old also said that he is “struggling to survive” and has been “without water, food or sun and without treatment” for months.

A source told Axios that the Biden administration asked the Qatari government to pressure Hamas to provide proof of life for Goldberg-Polin and the other American hostages. Doha reportedly shared the video with Washington on April 23, one day before Hamas publicly released it.

Expert Analysis

“Even though Hamas was reportedly compelled to produce proof of life, the video serves the terrorist group’s interests. It’s a tangible piece of evidence that reminds the Israeli public that hostages remain in Gaza — a fact which may rally them to pressure the government to accept a permanent ceasefire, thereby ensuring that Hamas and its terrorist partners continue to rule the Gaza Strip following the end of the current war.” Joe Truzman, Senior Research Analyst at FDD’s Long War Journal

“Qatar is already a financial sponsor, ideological supporter, and physical harborer of Hamas. Now we must add facilitator of Hamas psychological warfare to the list as well.” — Richard Goldberg, FDD Senior Advisor

Hamas Rejects Five Hostage Deals

Approximately 130 hostages remain in Gaza, 34 of whom Israel believes are no longer alive. Israeli and American officials have reiterated throughout April that Hamas is obstructing hostage negotiations. Hamas rejected the latest proposal on April 13 as Iran, its main backer, launched its drone and missile attack against the Jewish state. State Department spokesman Matthew Miller said on April 15 that “Israel moved a significant way” in the latest round of talks and Hamas “is the barrier and the obstacle to a ceasefire in Gaza.” The next day, Miller told reporters that Hamas is “the impediment” to reaching a deal.

Hamas previously rejected ceasefire proposals in December, January, and March and on April 4. The terrorist group refuses to compromise on its maximalist demands. These include a permanent ceasefire, Israel’s complete withdrawal from the Gaza Strip, the return of Palestinians displaced from northern Gaza, and an “honorable prisoner exchange deal,” Hamas political chief Ismail Haniyeh, who is based in Qatar, said. Israel has repeatedly made clear that any deal that leaves Hamas intact is unacceptable.

Qatar Not an Honest Broker

Despite its political and financial support for Hamas, Qatar continues to mediate between Hamas and Israel. Doha held “Israel alone responsible” for Hamas’s October 7 attack, ignoring the terrorist group’s war crimes and falsely accusing Israel of violating international law. On April 17, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani said that Doha is reevaluating its role as a mediator. Qatar “has seen the misuse of this mediation and its employment for narrow political interests,” which “has necessitated a comprehensive evaluation by Qatar of its role,” according to a Qatari government readout.

Qatar Reevaluates Role as Hamas Mediator,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Obstructs Hostage Negotiations,” FDD Flash Brief

Qatar Not an Honest Broker, New Report Concludes,” FDD Flash Brief

Hamas Rejects Another Ceasefire Offer,” FDD Flash Brief


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