update deskIsrael at War

Mia Shem opens up about Gaza captivity: ‘Everyone there is a terrorist’

"It's important to me to reveal the truth about the people who live in Gaza, about who they really are," Shem says in a preview of an interview.

Mia Shem speaks with Israel's Channel 13 News. Source: Screenshot.
Mia Shem speaks with Israel's Channel 13 News. Source: Screenshot.

In her first television interview since being released from Hamas captivity in the Gaza Strip four weeks ago, Israeli Mia Shem opens up about the abuse she suffered at the hands of Palestinian residents of the coastal enclave.

“It’s important to me to reveal the truth about the people who live in Gaza, about who they really are,” Shem says in a preview of an interview with Israel’s Channel 13 News, set to air on Thursday evening.

“I went through a Shoah,” Shem told the broadcaster, adding: “Everyone there [in Gaza] is a terrorist.

“Entire families are under Hamas. I realized I was staying with a family. I started to ask myself, why am I in a family home? Why are there children here? Why is there a wife here?” she explained.

In a separate interview with Channel 12 News scheduled to air on Friday evening, Shem recalls how Hamas terrorists abducted her to the Strip during the Islamist group’s Oct. 7 massacre at the Supernova music festival in Israel’s northwestern Negev.

“The floor was splattered with blood and I yelled in pain, ‘I lost my arm!'” she told the network’s primetime “Ulpan Shishi” program, according to a clip posted to X (formerly Twitter).

“He [a Hamas terrorist] started touching the upper part of my body. Suddenly, someone grabbed my hair, pulled me in a car and drove to Gaza. I felt like an animal in a zoo.”

‘I was choking on my own tears …

During Shem’s 54 days in Hamas captivity, a veterinarian operated on the bullet wound she sustained to her hand at the music festival, her aunt said late last month.

“There was an operation room. No anesthesia, no nothing. I was choking on my own tears. Then he looked at me and said, ‘Enough, or I’ll send you down to the tunnel,'” Shem recalled in the Channel 12 interview.

Shem, a 21-year-old dual Israeli-French citizen, was released on Nov. 30 as part of the temporary hostages-for-ceasefire deal agreed to by Israel and Hamas.

On Oct. 16, Hamas released a propaganda video featuring Shem, one of the approximately 240 people taken hostage during its Oct. 7 attacks, which left more than 1,200 dead and thousands wounded.

In the video, Shem can be seen apparently receiving treatment for a severe wound. “I’m Mia Shem, 21 years old from Shoham. Currently, I’m in Gaza. I returned early Saturday morning from Sderot—I was at a party. I was seriously injured in my hand,” she says in the clip.

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