Video of Israeli Prisoner in Gaza Avera Mengistu Meant To Motivate Swap Deal, Hamas Says
A spokesman for Hamas in Gaza said a day after a video was released showing Israeli Avera Mengistu, who has been held by the group for nearly a decade, that it proves he is still alive and that Hamas is waiting for “a respectable exchange deal” in order to release him, another hostage and the bodies of two Israeli soldier also held by Hamas. In the undated video released on Monday, Mengistu is shown with a shaved head and wearing a purple shirt. “I am the prisoner Avera Mengistu,” he says. “How long will I and my friends be here in captivity? After long years of pain, where are the country and the people of Israel regarding our fate?” Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that sources in Gaza said that Hamas’ purpose in releasing the video is to motivate Israel to agree to a deal. A similar video was released as Israel and Hamas were engaged in talks to free captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit in 2011. The Media Line exclusively revealed last month that Israel and Hamas were engaged in prisoner exchange talks to secure the release of the two captives and the two bodies. The talks are being held between Israel and Hamas and intermediaries from Egypt and Qatar, The Media Line understands.
To learn more about the Mengistu video and what it means for a potential prisoner swap, see: Israeli Source to TML: Hamas Video of Captive Is Proof of Life Amid Swap Talks