The mother of a 23-year-old missing American-Israeli said Tuesday that the last text messages she received from her son before he was “driven away by Hamas” terrorists over the weekend was “I love you. I’m sorry.” 

Rachel Golberg told reporters gathered in Tel Aviv that the messages from her son Hersh Golberg-Polin came into her phone Saturday morning and that she has not heard from him since. 

“There were two texts in a row from Hersh at 8:11. The first one said, ‘I love you.’… also, it said, ‘I’m sorry’. And so I knew immediately, wherever he was, it was a terrible situation,” Golberg said. “I took it to mean I love you and I’m sorry because whatever is going to happen is going to cause you tremendous pain and worry.” 

“Since that time, I, of course, tried calling him right back. There was no answer. I texted him a couple of times. Are you okay? I’ve not heard from him since the text I received at 8:11 on Saturday morning,” she added. 


Golberg said Golberg-Polin was attending the music festival in southern Israel on Saturday that was attacked by Hamas, leaving more than 250 dead. 

Golberg added that after speaking with witnesses, she learned that her son had tried to take cover in a bomb shelter and ended up losing his arm from the elbow down after getting caught in a “gun battle” there. 

“Hamas came in after the gunfire settled down and said anyone who can walk, stand up and walk out,” she said. 

“We are told that he was completely calm. I think he was probably in shock. And he got up and he walked out with five other people, young people from the music festival, two young women, three other young men,” Golberg said. “They were put on a pickup truck and driven away by Hamas. Then the police told us one thing they knew is that the last known cell signal from his phone was on the border with Gaza.” 

Jon Polin, his father, described Golberg-Polin as a “smiley, fun-loving guy” who people gravitated toward. 


At least 11 Americans have died so far in the recent violence and more are suspected to have been taken hostage. 

Other American-Israelis who are missing, according to their families, are Itay Chen, 19, Adreinne Neta, 66, and Sagui Dekel-Chen, 35. 

Their loved ones spoke alongside Golberg-Polin’s parents on Tuesday in Tel Aviv, pleading for help from the Biden administration. 

“I’m asking the U.S. not to take a backseat. The U.S. has a lot of resources at its attention. It is able to do many things that can be different than what the Israeli government could do,” said Ruby Chen, the father of Itay. “And we are asking on behalf of my family for President Biden, where we assure his heart is in the right place when it comes to Israel and Secretary of State [Blinken] to do what they can to make this end and for us, as soon as possible, to become family, whole again.”