Keren Schem, whose daughter Mia is held captive by Hamas in Gaza, responded on Tuesday to a video of her daughter released by the terrorist group the day before, affirming that Mia is alive and stating that Hamas bears responsibility for her health and wellbeing.
She appealed to global leaders to ensure her daughter's safe return, emphasizing that Mia should be in no worse condition than depicted in the video. Keren also warned that the kind of attack Israel experienced could recur in countries like France or the U.S. She emphasized the importance of global unity in combating such terror.
"Bring my baby back home. all she did was go to a party to have fun. So many babies and children and old people, who are holocaust survivors were taken hostage, while their homes were burned. This is a crime against humanity," she said.
At least three people were hurt on Tuesday morning when anti-tank fire from Lebanon targeted the border town of Metula. The mayor asked all residents who did not evacuate to do so. The military responded with fire. IDF spokesperson Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari told reporters that the IDF was focusing on Gaza but was also prepared for any fight in the north.
He said Hamas was conducting psychological terror after it released a video of an Israeli hostage on Monday. "We expect them to release more clips," he said. Hagari said there is total coordination with the U.S. in the war effort and warned Hamas still had the capabilities to attack Israel.
The U.S. officially announced the visit on Wednesday of President Joe Bide. It was made after Sec. of State Blinken secured an Israeli commitment on Monday, to allow humanitarian aid to Gaza, according to a Washington Post report.
Earlier the IDF said that it attacked 200 terrorist infrastructure targets in Gaza in the past 24 hours. "IDF fighter jets struck Hamas terrorist organization headquarters and killed a Hamas military operative. In addition, the IDF struck a bank used by the Hamas terrorist organization for funding terror activity in the Gaza Strip," the military said in a statement. "Over the past few days, IDF naval vessels used precision munitions striking targets of the Hamas terrorist organization, including operational headquarters in the center of Gaza City and munition warehouses."
The military also said four terrorists were killed in an infiltration attempt from Lebanon, on the northern border after troops observed them attempting to place and explosive device on the border fence.
Centcom commander Michael Kurilla arrived in Israel to meet with Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi. "I'm here to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and am particularly focused on avoiding other parties expanding the conflict," he said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz is due to arrive in Israel on Wednesday and New York governor is also expected. "Tomorrow I’m traveling to Israel for a solidarity mission to meet with diplomatic leaders & communities devastated by the horrific Hamas attack," the governor said in a post.
The Hamas terror group late on Monday released the first recorded images of an Israeli hostage who is also a French citizen, under the title "Taking care of one of the hostages." The video clip, intended to be used as psychological warfare, shows 21-year-old Mia Schem from Shoham, who was abducted from the Nova music festival in Re'im. In the documentation, which may have been filmed under threats, at an unknown time and under unknown conditions, she is seen saying "I just ask to return home, get me out of here as quickly as possible." She said she had been wounded in her hand and was treated.
IDF spokesperson said, in response, that Mia Schem's family was informed last week by IDF officials that Mia had been adducted. "Representatives are in continuous contact with the family," he said. "The IDF is deploying all intelligence and operational measures for the return of the hostages."
In its statement, the IDF said: "Hamas is 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 force of 2,000 American Marines and sailors is now making its way near the shores of Israel. An American security official told CNN that sending the force to the Middle East was intended to strengthen the American presence there after Washington had already brought two aircraft carriers closer to Israel. The source did not say exactly where the Marine force would be sent, but the report stated that it might reach the Red Sea, near the shores of Eilat.
Earlier on Monday Khaled Meshaal, a former leader of the terror group said the Israeli captives abducted in the assault on October 7, include high-ranking officers from the Gaza Division. He said there were between 200 and 250 hostages in Gaza. Some he said have foreign nationalities, are considered guests and would be released as soon as the situation on the ground permits. Meshaal also said Hamas will spare no effort in using the captives as leverage to free 6,000 Palestinians held in Israel.
Hamas targeted central Israel including Tel Aviv for a fourth time in hours late on Monday while the war cabinet was meeting with the participation of U.S. Sec. of State Antony Blinken. Blinken and Netanyahu took shelter together as the city was being targeted.
A spokesman for the Hamas military wing said Tel Aviv was targeted because of the killing of civilians in Israeli strikes on Gaza.
Earlier, Netanyahu spoke for the first time since returning to office, with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the Russian leader spoke with the leaders of Egypt, Syria, the Palestinian Authority and Iran when he voiced his concerns of the escalating conflict.
Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the safety of Israelis on either side of the Gaza border, referring to the hostages held by Hamas, 199 having been identified thus far. Gallant spoke after his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken who attended the evening's war cabinet meeting.
In a cabinet meeting, ministers told Netanyahu they oppose allowing humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through the Rafah border or any gestures to Hamas.
The Wall Street Journal said on Monday, that the U.S. was organizing members of the military for potential deployment to assist Israel, quoting U.S. officials. They would function in the capacity of advisors or provide medical support.
Central Israel and Jerusalem came under a rocket attack on Monday afternoon. The sirens alerted of incoming fire, disrupted the opening of the winter session of parliament and sent lawmakers and guests into protected areas, soon after Netanyahu ended his address. In it he warned Iran and Hezbollah, not to open a second front against Israel in the north.
"Don't try us," Netanyahu said. He said the objective is the destruction of the Hamas.
President Issac Herzog said in the Knesset that Hamas targeted the entire Jewish people and if they are not stopped, they will endanger the entire world. He said this is not a complex reality. There is good and there is utter evil, "we are fighting an enemy that is all evil."
The president praised the volunteering spirit of all Israelis who came regardless of religion or affiliation, in masses, to help in any way, in hospitals with the wounded, for the families who survived the massacre and the troops who are deployed to the border. " Few are the moments when a nation sees so much endangered but that is when heroes are revealed," he said.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid said Israel will triumph but it was caught at a time when it distanced itself from its democratic DNA. He said Israel would win and Hamas would be destroyed. "It will take time," he said. "If the world doesn't like it, so be it. Their children were not massacred, ours were."
First published: 10:12, 10.16.23