The Hamas terror group on Monday afternoon published a video of Israeli captive Avera Mengistu, who was captured by Hamas after he crossed into the Gaza Strip in 2014.
The authenticity of the video, which would be the first glimpse of Mengistu since he was captured, has not yet been determined.
The video, published only hours after the handover ceremony for Israel’s new IDF chief of staff began, opens with the words [in Hebrew and Arabic]: “The Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades emphasizes the failure of the outgoing Chief of Staff ‘Kochavi’ and his lies to his nation and government in his imaginary and delusional achievements. The incoming Chief of Staff ‘Halevi’ needs to prepare himself to bear responsibility for this failure and its consequences.”
The video then shows Mengistu saying: “I’m the prisoner Avera Mengistu. Until when will I be here? My friends and I are in captivity for long and painful years. Where is the State and Am Yisrael regarding our fate?”
The video then shows a photo of Kochavi with the quote: “I’m terribly sorry that we didn’t succeed in finding a solution to the return of the soldiers during my term.” It then shows a photo of Halevi, with the words: “Your predecessor left you much pain and lies.”
Hamas is also holding Israel-Bedouin Hisham al-Sayed captive. Both men have a history of mental illness. In June, Hamas released a video of a man they claimed was al-Sayed hooked up to an oxygen mask.
The publication of the video followed an announcement by Hamas the evening before that there had been a “deterioration in the health of one of the enemy prisoners.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)