As people throughout Israel seek information about their loved ones’ whereabouts in the war that’s engulfed the country, one American family is pleading for help.
Hersh Golberg-Polin’s family last heard from him on Saturday after he attended a music festival in the Negev desert region. The family was in the country, and Golberg-Polin—who had just celebrated his 23rd birthday this past week—left them Friday night for the rave.
Hamas launched its assault on the country on Saturday, barraging the festival itself with bullets and kidnapping partygoers. It was the last time his family heard from him, his dad Jonathon Polin told the Jerusalem Post, when they received two ominous texts from him: “I love you” and “I’m sorry.”
“We just want him home and safe,” his father told the paper.
Footage from the festival site has included scores of bodies and volunteers say over 25src are dead, though few have been identified. Secretary of State Antony Blinken appeared on various Sunday news broadcasts, where he confirmed the U.S. was aware of reports of Americans either kidnapped or killed.
“We have reports that several Americans were killed. We’re working overtime to verify that,” Blinken said on CNN’s State of the Union. “At the same time, there are reports of missing Americans and there again, we’re working to verify those reports.”
Ron Dermer, Israel’s Minister for Strategic Affairs, also confirmed hearing some reports, but he couldn’t provide more details.
“Unfortunately I can’t,” Dermer said on State of the Union. “We have a lot of dual citizens in Israel. I suspect there are several, but we’re still trying to sort through all of all this information after this horrific surprise attack and we’ll make sure to put that information out so that the loved ones of these people who were killed and who are held hostage, they know as quickly as possible.”
Golberg-Polin’s grandmother told The Daily Beast that the family was relying on all resources possible, but she was not aware if they had been contacted by the U.S. government.
“They have a lot of friends with connections and they’re doing whatever they can,” Leah Polin said.