Hamas Releases Video of Israeli Prisoner Said To Be ‘Deteriorating’
Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday afternoon released a video of Hisham al-Sayed, one of two living Israelis that it has held captive since 2015. The video shows al-Sayed lying on a bed with his eyes open and connected to a respirator and an IV drip. His Israeli national identification card is also displayed in the video. It does not indicate what is wrong with al-Sayed, who could be sick with COVID-19 or any number of illnesses.
The release of the video comes less than a day after the group announced that “the health of one of its Israeli prisoners has deteriorated.” Hamas has held two Israelis, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, and the bodies of two Israeli soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, for several years.
Both Mengistu and al-Sayed, who are affected with mental illness, crossed voluntarily into Gaza in 2014 and 2015 respectively and have been held by Hamas since. Israel has repeatedly attempted to reach agreement with Hamas on a prisoner exchange that would include the four Israelis.
“Hamas has proven yet again that it is a cynical and criminal terrorist organization, which holds mentally ill civilians in violation of all international conventions and laws, as well as the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers. Hamas is responsible for the state of the captured civilians,” said a statement issued late on Monday night by the Prime Minister’s Office. “The State of Israel will continue its efforts, mediated by Egypt, to bring home the captives and the missing, with responsibility and determination.”