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New video shows bloodied Israeli hostages taken in pickup to Gaza

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) -Crammed in the back of a pickup truck, smeared with blood, three Israeli hostages are being filmed by their jubilant Palestinian captors.

That is how Hersh Goldberg-Polin, 23, and Eliya Cohen, 26, and Or Levy, 33, all abducted on Oct. 7, were taken into the Gaza Strip, a video made public on Monday shows.

The families of the young men, desperate for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to a hostage deal with Islamist group Hamas, approved its publication in the media.

All three had attended the Nova music festival in southern Israel that became a killing field during the Hamas-led assault. Levy was with his wife who was killed that morning. Cohen’s girlfriend, who was buried under a pile of bodies, survived.

In the video, Goldberg-Polin sits in the back of the pickup truck, covered in blood, having lost part of his left arm earlier.

The footage jumps between the wounded hostages and the cheering captors as the truck speeds along a narrow road under a clear blue sky.

The Oct. 7 attack sparked the war in Gaza, which has raged for almost nine months. Efforts to reach a ceasefire and secure the release of some 120 hostages still in captivity have faltered.

Hamas in April released a video of Goldberg-Polin speaking from captivity.

His father, Jon Polin, said they first saw this latest video of his abduction a week ago and its publication was aimed at reminding the world about the people in captivity whose lives are in the balance.

“The inclination after 262 days, and when you see your wounded child in a truck being jostled with his hair pulled and others suffering, is to grab leaders of the world by the collar and say – get these people out,” Polin told Reuters.

“We’re going to continue to channel our strength productively and positively, but get these people out.”

In response to the video, Netanyahu said that it “breaks all of our hearts and re-emphasizes the brutality of the enemy whom we have sworn to eliminate.”

“We will not end the war until we return all 120 of our loved ones home,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch and Dedi Hayoun; Editing by Ros Russell)

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