Described as a warning to Israel’s new army head, the terrorist Palestinian group Hamas released a video on Monday showing an Israeli that it claimed was being kept captive in the Gaza Strip.
The video, which allegedly showed Israeli prisoner Avera Mengistu pleading with the Israeli forces to ensure his freedom, was shared by the military branch of Hamas, the Qassam Brigades.
The exact time the video was shot is still unknown.
After a horrific 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, Mengistu, an Israeli of Ethiopian heritage, freely breached the Israeli fence enclosing the blockaded Gaza Strip in 2014.
His family has claimed that he suffers from mental health issues.
Israelis held captive are a sensitive topic in that country, and the Israeli government has paid a heavy price for releasing its residents or the bodies of its soldiers in the past in contentious prisoner swaps.
The corpses of two soldiers slain in the 2014 conflict, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, and another Israeli civilian, Hisham al-Sayed, are held by Hamas.
Hamas has not disclosed the captives’ location or the soldiers’ corpses, and it has barred humanitarian visits by foreign authorities to inspect them.
Rarely the extremist group has made hostages’ images and videos public.
Hamas posted a brief video of a sick al-Sayed lying on a bed and struggling last year.
How long am I going to be here? In the video aired on Monday on the Hamas-run satellite channel Al Aqsa, a guy identifying himself as Mengistu begs.
“My friends and I are held captive. Where is Israel’s national and citizens? ”
The Israeli military was silent right away.
On the day when Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi took office as the new military chief of Israel, Hamas published the video.
The terrorist group threatened Halevi that he would “carry the responsibility” for his predecessor’s inability to release Israeli prisoners in the Palestinian enclave in a statement in the video.
Halevi promised to shield the military from political meddling as he officially assumed office Monday at a Jerusalem ceremony.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration’s plans to divide the military’s control over the occupied West Bank have been blasted by his predecessor, Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, and other senior members of the Israeli security establishment.
A department under the defense ministry that oversees the administrative parts of the occupation and a paramilitary police force is now under the hands of powerful far-right ministers in the new government.
Halevi, the first West Bank settler to hold the position of military chief, declared in his inauguration speech that the army would be “devoid of all motives that aren’t secure.”
In the 1967 Middle East conflict, Israel seized the West Bank, east Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, which the Palestinians wanted for a future independent state.
Hamas Publishes video of Avera Mengistu, who’s a mentally ill black Jew that has been under captivity for 9 years.
— Moti Ankari (@MotiAnkari) January 16, 2023