WASHINGTON (TND) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected a deal to exchange 50 hostages for a five-day ceasefire with Hamas, according to officials familiar with the discussions. Israel reportedly considered five days too long and demanded instead a pause lasting just a few hours.
An estimated 240 people remain hostages of Hamas in Gaza. One of those is 23-year-old American citizen Hersh Goldberg-Polin who had attended the Nova Music Festival, which was brutally attacked by Hamas terrorists on Oct. 7.
The National Desk spoke with his mom Rachel who described the agony of the past month.
"It’s so psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, physically, painful all the same time and it doesn’t let up," said Goldberg.
The last communication Rachel received from her son was through WhatsApp on the morning of Oct. 7. He told his mom he loved her and he was sorry. She said she immediately knew something was terribly wrong.
Witnesses would later tell her what happened.
Hersh and his friends tried to get away in a car but Hamas terrorists had the road blocked and were firing machine guns. Vehicles were driving towards them.
Rachel said Hersh ran into a roadside bomb shelter. Hamas zeroed in on the shelter, throwing grenades and an RPG inside, then peppering the small room with more gunfire.
The witnesses said Hersh lost an arm but survived and Hamas took him to Gaza. Rachel said her son's cell phone last pinged from inside the Gaza Strip. They have had no news of him since.
Hamas' hostages are citizens of 30 different countries and at least five religions. Hersh is one of ten Americans being held.
Meanwhile, in cities across America, anti-Israel demonstrators tear down posters of the hostages almost as fast as loved ones put them up.
"It shows people are not really educated about what’s going on here," said Rachel.
The White House is not commenting on the issue of the posters getting torn down.
As the days drag on, Rachel said she has no choice but to remain hopeful she'll see her son again soon.