Hamas militants broadcast a video late Monday of 21-year-old Mia, one of the almost 200 hostages the group has been holding since its October 7 attack. FRANCE 24 spoke to Mia’s mother, Keren Schem, who is hoping for a quick resolution of her daughter’s plight.
Issued on: 17/10/2023 – 20:43
Mia is seen receiving medical treatment for her arm, then facing the camera. She states her identity and says she has had surgery. It was the first proof of life since her kidnapping, broadcast on Hamas’s Telegram account. A Franco-Israeli citizen, Mia was kidnapped at the Supernova music festival along with dozens of others.
Keren called once again on all world leaders – but especially French President Emmanuel Macron, who is expected in Israel in the coming days – to do everything in their power to bring back her daughter.
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
FRANCE 24: How did you feel when you saw the video of your daughter Mia?
Keren Schem: I received the video yesterday and I saw my baby. I can see she’s suffering. I can see that she’s very, very scared. She had some sort of operation. I saw only part of her, so I don’t really know what’s going on. But when I looked into her eyes, I didn’t see 21-year-old Mia. I saw 2-year-old Mia, crying because she wants her mother. I can’t imagine what she’s going through. I don’t know when this video was filmed, but I am asking all the leaders of the world to bring my baby back home. I want her here, with me. She needs medical care. She was alive when this video was filmed but she could be dead now. I want all of the hostages, all these innocent hostages, to be able to go home to their mothers and fathers.
FRANCE 24: French President Emmanuel Macron is coming to Israel this week. What would you say if you met him?
Keren Schem: First, I would hug him. I want to thank President Macron for all his efforts and help. I met some 11 French members of parliament yesterday here in Israel. They came and they sat with us, with some of the hostages’ families, and they listened to our stories. And they made such effort and it’s very, very impressive. I’m very proud that my daughter is a French citizen.
I wish all world leaders would do the same. US President Joe Biden is coming tomorrow. All the world’s leaders should come and unite because right now it’s human beings against the monsters.
Read more‘Bring my baby back alive’: Families of Israeli hostages cling to hope
FRANCE 24: Do you think Macron will be able to bring Mia home?
Keren Schem: I believe and I have faith in your president – in our government, in our army, in the United States – in all the good people of the world. They will succeed because good will prevail over evil.
I call on all world leaders to wake up and understand that this is not about war in Israel. This is a crime against humanity. And we are dealing with a monster that is getting stronger and stronger. I live in Israel; we have seen many wars and many terrorist attacks. But something like this is too much. Today it’s happening here but tomorrow it could happen in France, the United States or Switzerland … And if we don’t confront it now, there will be more mothers like me. And no mother wants to be in my place, believe me.
This article has been translated from the original in French.