Israeli Airstrike Kills 500 at Hospital, Gaza Officials Say: Israel-Hamas War News

Hamas released a video late Monday of Mia Schem, one of the nearly 200 people believed to be held hostage in Gaza after the group launched a cross-border assault on Israel nine days ago.

The 60-second video — the first released by the group to show any of the hostages — begins with Ms. Schem, 21, receiving medical treatment for a wound above her right elbow and shows her arm being wrapped in bandages by a person off-camera.

The next images are of Ms. Schem, who disappeared from the site of a music festival where at least 260 people were killed, speaking directly to the camera in Hebrew.

“At the moment I am in Gaza,” Ms. Schem says in a solemn, clipped voice. She says that she is being looked after and that her arm was operated on for three hours at a hospital. The video ends with her plea to be returned to Israel.

“I just ask that I am returned as fast as possible to my family, to my parents, and to my siblings,” she says. “Please get us out of here as quickly as possible.”

The Israeli military issued a statement after the video was released that said Hamas was “trying to portray itself as a humane organization, while it is a murderous terrorist organization responsible for the murder and abduction of babies, women, children and elderly.”

A friend of the Schem family said the family had seen the clip and confirmed Ms. Schem’s identity. The friend requested anonymity, citing fears of harassment. The family name can also be transliterated as Shem.

According to an analysis by The New York Times, metadata contained within the video file indicates that some of the footage was filmed at least six days ago.

Israeli officials said on Monday that 199 people were being held captive by Hamas — about 50 more than previously known — in the wake of the attack, which left more than 1,400 victims dead. Israel has responded with heavy airstrikes on Gaza, the Palestinian enclave controlled by Hamas, and threats of a ground invasion. Hamas has claimed that at least some captives have been killed in the strikes, a claim impossible to independently verify.

Ms. Schem’s mother, Keren Schem, said last week that she had last spoken to her on Oct. 6, the day before the attack. The family had gathered at their home in a small town outside of Tel Aviv to celebrate the end of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot.

“She called me to say she was going to a party down south,” Keren Schem said. “I asked her where, and she said she wasn’t sure.”

The next morning, just after 7 a.m., Keren Schem’s phone started buzzing with news of the attack, a series of raids on the communities closest to the Gaza Strip.

She tried, frantically, to reach her daughter but her calls went unanswered.

“I couldn’t stop calling,” Keren Schem said. “I kept telling myself, it’s OK, it was a party with thousands of people. What are the chances my daughter was hurt? I was trying to be rational, but I had no idea of the scale of the attack. I couldn’t have guessed it was a massacre.”

She eventually heard from one of the organizers of the party, a friend of her daughter’s, that Mia had sent a text message at 7:17 a.m.: “They are shooting at us, come save us.”

What happened after that isn’t clear. Keren Schem said one person who was at the show described having seen her daughter walking toward a kibbutz nearby. Another told her she had been spotted in a car that a Hamas gunman sprayed with bullets.

Keren Schem said she joined two WhatsApp groups of families and friends with missing loved ones from the music festival — only to see messages from people claiming to be affiliated with Hamas, threatening to harm her daughter.

And her sister, separately, put her phone number online, she said, but “had someone call her in Arabic, yelling. Now we don’t answer any phone calls from numbers we don’t know.”

Nadav Gavrielov contributed reporting.