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Hamas releases audio allegedly of Israeli soldier being held as prisoner

Hamas releases audio allegedly of Israeli soldier being held as prisoner

Article RadarTHIS ARTICLE CONNECT:

  • LLL-GFATF-Hamas Hamas Hamas is a Palestinian Islamic organization, with an associated military wing,...[+]

 Affected Countries: palestine; israel;

Al Jazeera Arabic aired audio of an unidentified person who purported to be an Israeli soldier being held captive by Hamas’s armed branch, the al-Qassam Brigades.

In the audio clip played on Sunday in an episode for the investigative series Tip of the Iceberg, the person said he “wonders if and hopes that Israel still exists. And if so, I wonder whether the leaders of the country think of its captured soldiers and are concerned with their release”.

He added: “I die every day anew,” saying he hoped to be with his family soon. “Please help,” he pleaded.

It was the first time the al-Qassam Brigades disclosed a recording of this kind.

Hamas has said it holds two Israeli soldiers – Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul – who were captured during the 2014 war, and two former soldiers – Hisham al-Sayed and Avera Mengistu – who entered Gaza under unclear conditions, according to reports.

Since their capture, Hamas has not disclosed the fate of the four, but Israel claims two soldiers were killed during the war and Hamas only holds their remains.

Following the release of the programme, some Israeli commentators said the man heard in the recording was Mengistu, an Israeli prisoner of Ethiopian origin. Israeli news Channel 12 also reported that Israeli defence officials were trying to ascertain whether it was in fact Mengistu.

Israeli media reported, however, that Mengistu’s mother believed the voice heard in the audio recording was not her son’s.

“I can say unequivocally that it’s not my son, that’s not his voice,” Agarnesh Mengistu told Israel’s Kan public broadcaster. “I’m waiting for my son, and I hope to see him soon as I have been promised.”

Israel’s government coordinator for prisoners and missing persons Yaron Blum dismissed the release of the footage as a “cheap manipulation by Hamas”.

Blum said Israel was “fully aware” of the condition of the soldiers, refuting claims by Hamas that the two soldiers could be alive.

Source: Al Jazeera

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