Mia Schem was at a dance party with her friends when Hamas operatives stormed in and started firing.
Mia Schem was at a dance party with her friends when Hamas operatives stormed in and started firing. While trying to flee, the 21-year-old got shot in the arm and was eventually caught and taken hostage. After spending 54 days in captivity, Mia was finally released on Thursday as part of the truce deal between Israel and Hamas.
Photos released by the Israeli prime minister's office showed Mia, who also holds French nationality, embracing her mother and brother after they were reunited at Hatzerim military base in Israel.
Mia had become a known face after she appeared in a video by Hamas claiming that the hostages were being treated well. In the video, the Israeli-French tattoo artist is being treated by an unidentified medical worker. In the clip, she also asked to be returned to her family as soon as possible.
"Hi, I'm Mia Schem, 21 years old from Shoham. Currently, I'm in Gaza. I was seriously injured in my hand. I underwent surgery on my hand at the hospital for 3 hours. They are taking care of me, giving me medicine, everything is fine," she says in the video.
"I only ask that they bring me home as soon as possible to my parents, to my siblings. Get me out of here as soon as possible. Please," she adds.
Hamas shared the 78-second video on their Telegram channel last month. It was condemned by France and also promoted Mia's other Keren to hold a press conference seeking her daughter's immediate release.
Mia Schem's family though contradicted what was shown in the video and claimed that the surgery on her hand was performed by a veterinarian.
"She is thin, she is weak. A vet operated on her hand. She did not receive physiotherapy. She told them she is not an Israeli soldier and is a French citizen," her aunt told media yesterday, contradicting what was shown in the video.
French President Emmanuel Macron also expressed joy as soon as Mia was released. "Mia Schem is free. It is a great joy that I share with his family and all French people," he said.
Israel has sworn to annihilate Hamas, which rules Gaza, in response to the October 7 rampage, when Israel says gunmen killed 1,200 people and took 240 hostages.
Until the truce, Israel bombarded the territory for seven weeks. Palestinian health authorities deemed reliable by the United Nations say more than 15,000 Gazans have been confirmed killed.