By Athena Papakosta

Safe with her family is Mia Shem, the 21-year-old French-Israeli woman who was abducted by Hamas gunmen from the Supernova music festival on October 7. She is one of a total of eight hostages who were released by the Islamist Palestinian organization yesterday, Wednesday.

About a month ago, Hamas released video of Shem speaking to the camera and begging her to return to Israel and her family as soon as possible. She had injured her hand and emphasized that she had undergone surgery. Images shared by the organization showed a member of medical staff tending to her wound – but his face was not seen on camera.

The Israeli television network “Channel 12” broadcast, yesterday, a video in which we see Mia Shem’s mother, Keren, crying while holding the phone and rushing to the arms of her children when she learned that Mia was freed. “Mia is coming home,” he said while the 21-year-old’s father, David, speaking to the same television network, he emphasized that “first her mom will fall on her and then I will approach her and hold her in my arms. I won’t talk… I don’t want to ask questions. I don’t know what happened.”

With her announcement, Mia’s family thanks everyone who worked for her release and asks for ‘peace and quiet’ the next few days during which Shem will remain in the hospital to receive the necessary medical help she needs until she returns home again.

Mia was at the Supernova music festival on the morning of October 7th in which hundreds were killed and from which 40 were kidnapped. He had completed military service, was attending tattooing classes and lived in the city of Mazor, east of Tel Aviv. “She is a young girl who wanted to have fun and dance,” her mother told France Info.

Along with Mia, 40-year-old Amit Susanna was also released. On the morning of October 7, she was in her apartment in Kibbutz Kfar Aza. He had a fever. At the time of the attack, she contacted her family. “They are attacking the kibbutz,” she told them, adding that she could see the gunmen from her window. Amit went into hiding but Hamas gunmen tracked her down. She was reported missing for 22 days until it was confirmed on October 29 that she had been abducted.

Shortly after her release, her cousin, Leah Nourit Artman, spoke to Channel 12. Watching the footage over and over again of the moment Hamas gunmen hand her and Mia over to the Red Cross emphasizes that anyone can tell “a scared, thin and weak girl”. According to Israeli media, Amit lived alone, loves rock music and tennis.

So far it is not known why these two women were released earlier than the rest of the hostages who were released yesterday. They are 17-year-old Aisha Ziyadne, 18-year-old Bilal Ziyadne, 40-year-old Nili Margalit, 29-year-old Sunny Goren, also 29-year-old Sapir Cohen and 30-year-old Ilana Grijevski.