The Biden administration blasted Hamas, the group responsible for the deadly attacks and kidnappings in Israel, after it released its first hostage video of a woman who was taken captive during the raid earlier this month.
French President Emmanuel Macron's office also blasted the video's release, denouncing the "ignominy of taking innocent people hostage and their odious staging," Fox News reported.
In a post on X, Macron stated that the country is "working to quickly end this period of violence and tensions, for the benefit of Isrsael, the Palestinians, the Middle East, and the world."
In a one minute video posted on Hamas' Telegram page, the group showed a 21-year-old French-Israeli woman who was kidnapped at a music festival in southern Israel. Her family identified her as Mia Schem. She spoke to the camera and pleaded for a safe return home, claiming that Hamas was taking care of her.
“I was [at] a party. I was badly injured in my arm. They took me to Gaza. They performed a 3-hour surgery to my arm. They took care of me, treated me, provided medicine to me. Everything is fine,” Schem said in the video.
“I am just asking them to return me home as soon as possible,” she said. “To my family, father, mother, and siblings. Please, get us out of here as soon as you can.”
Schem is among the dozens of music festival attendees who were kidnapped during the attack on the venue, who are believed to currently be held in the Gaza Strip. Reports indicate that Hamas killed around 250 festival attendees, as seen in video footage of the attack.
The Biden admin's National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told the press that Hamas was using Schem for "propaganda" purposes in an attempt to trick the public into thinking they were treating captives humanely.
“There’s no question in my mind that that woman gave that video testimony under duress, probably forced to do it,” Kirby told Today host Savannah Guthrie. “It’s a propaganda video much more than it is proof of life or, certainly, proof of concept for Hamas. It’s despicable, deplorable that they would take these hostages and then advertise how well they’re treating them when they’re the ones who hurt them in the first place.”