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Family Rejects Israeli Hostage Tape as Forgery
Shabaan al-Sayed and Ayeli Mengistu, fathers of Hisham al-Sayed and Avera Mengistu, two Israelis held by Hamas in Gaza since 2015 and 2014, respectively, pose next to a poster depicting their sons, Jerusalem, Sept. 6, 2018. (Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images)

Family Rejects Israeli Hostage Tape as Forgery

Jerusalem officials on Monday dismissed as a “cheap stunt” Sunday night’s Al Jazeera expose in which an alleged recording of an Israeli citizen held captive by Hamas in Gaza was played for the first time. “Hamas is pulling a transparent and cheap manipulation here,” Yaron Blum, Israel’s chief hostage negotiator said. “Israel is well aware of the situation” of the prisoners in Gaza. The mother of hostage Avera Mengistu, who is supposedly heard on the tape pleading for the Israeli government to intervene and save his life, on Monday said she was certain the recording was a forgery, adding “that’s not my son’s voice.” During the hour-long feature, Al Jazeera also showed never-before-seen video recordings of an imprisoned Gilad Schalit, the former Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hamas in 2007 and released in a major 2011 swap deal which included over 1,000 Hamas militants. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and is designated a terror group by Israel, the United States and the European Union, currently holds two Israeli civilians, Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, and the remains of two soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

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