Hamas Spox to Al-Ahed: Mengistu’s Video Is A Message to New “Israeli” Chief of Staff
By Al-Ahed News
Gaza – The “Israelis” being held captive by the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades are back in the headlines after Hamas’ military wing in the besieged Gaza Strip published a video of one of the men – Avera Mengistu.
“How long will I be in captivity, me and my friends,” Mengistu is heard mumbling in the video. “After the many years in pain, where are the country and the people of ‘Israel’?”
In the video message, the Qassam Brigades pointed to the failures of former Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and his institution as well as his lies to his people and government about alleged and delusional achievements.
“The new Zionist Chief of Staff must prepare himself to bear the burdens and consequences of the failures of his predecessor,” the Qassam Brigades said.
For his part, Hamas spokesman Hazem Qasem said that "the video featuring one of the captured Zionist soldiers and released by the Qassam Brigades confirms the seriousness of the group in dealing with the prisoners' file and the exchange deal."
He tells al-Ahed News that the video is a message to the new “Israeli” Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, advising him “to put the matter on the top of his list of priorities and not try to play with this file as his predecessor, [Aviv] Kochavi, did and failed to free the soldiers or close an [prisoner] exchange agreement.”
Qasem said that “Israel” is hindering an exchange deal due to the weakness of its government and its narrow political calculations, asserting that the “Israelis” will not see their soldiers in the absence of an honorable deal.
For his part, writer and political analyst Wissam Afifa believes that the newly released video of the “Israeli” soldier “is an indication and a sign that this issue is being transferred to the new occupation government."
Afifa tells al-Ahed that the Qassam Brigades are reading the situation in “Israel” well and the video is part of the pressure campaign on the “Israeli” public in a bid to move the exchange file forward.
"The occupation has difficulty maneuvering as their consciousness was seared following the Wafaa al-Ahrar prisoner swap, especially since those who were released later became leaders in the resistance."
Meanwhile, writer and political analyst, Mustafa al-Sawaf, explains that the video assures the “Israelis” that Mengistu is in good health and Hamas’ cards are stronger than Tel Aviv thinks.
"Perhaps the occupation does not want a new deal after the Shalit deal, which constituted a major crisis for the Zionist society, as well as a strong tributary for the Palestinian resistance. Hence, it does not want to close any new deals with the resistance, but rather wants to disrupt the issue," al-Sawaf tells al-Ahed News.
"The occupation lied at the beginning about the two soldiers, and it is deceiving the Zionist community and does not want to respond to the demands of the resistance, which could provide evidence that Goldin and Oron are alive. This issue may be a major factor for the occupation.
"In the eight years since their capture, the occupation has been trying to take any military action that leads to the killing of the soldiers."
Hamas is holding four “Israelis” captive, including two soldiers who were captured during the war on the Gaza Strip in the summer of 2014, while the other two entered the Strip under unclear circumstances.
On December 14, Hamas celebrated its 35th anniversary. During the rally, the Qassam Brigades displayed pictures of the rifle of the “Israeli” officer Hadar Goldin.
It said, “01/08/2014 witnessed the disappointment of the Zionist enemy's army when it lost contact with officer Hadar Goldin.”
The Qassam Brigades revealed that the officer's rifle, which bears the number , was seized by its fighters during the operation to capture the officer, Hadar Goldin.