In a speech broadcast on Facebook Live, Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades spokesman Abu Obeida warned the families of the Israeli soldiers not to trust Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor those who had served as defense minister, IOF chief of staff and chief military rabbi during the 2014 war on Gaza.
IOF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul were captured by the resistance group in 2014. Israeli officials claim that they are dead. Other two civilians, Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, have been also held by Hamas after they crossed into Gaza in 2014 and 2015. Mengistu is of Ethiopian origins.
“You must first think carefully and ask Netanyahu, [Moshe] Ya’alon and [Benny] Gantz where they left your sons and how they neglected them? You must ask Rafi Peretz, the chief rabbi of the army at the time, how he misled you with specific information in the service of cheap political goals,” Abu Obeida said.
The Hamas official said that the Zionist entity seeks to “justify its neglect” of Goldin and Shaul by saying “they are corpses and remains.”
“If this hypothesis is correct, why have they not taken the initiative to achieve the dream of their families to bring back these corpses, knowing that the price they will have to pay for corpses is a modest one in comparison with living persons.”
Abu Obeida meanwhile, said there is a “real opportunity” to reach an agreement with the Zionist entity on The issue.
“We affirm that there is a real opportunity to resolve the issue of the prisoners and missing persons if the leadership of the enemy is serious in opening and advancing this file and paying the natural price through the clear path that led to the resolution of similar issues in the past,” referring to previous swap deal between Hamas and Tel Aviv.
“We warn that this file could be subject to being forgotten or completely closed for reasons that the enemy knows well,” Abu Obeida warned on the other hand.
Referring to racial tensions in the Zionist entity, recently exacerbated by the deadly shooting of an unarmed Ethiopian-Israeli teen by a police officer, the Hamas military brigade spokesman said Tel AViv has not even inquired into the well-being of Mengistu, who is of Ethiopian descent.
“The greatest example of the procrastination and the lying of the enemy’s government and military leadership is the issue of the missing person in Gaza Mengistu, the Jew who is of Ethiopian origins. We affirm that the occupation did not raise his issue with the mediators at all,” said Abu Obeida.
“The leadership of the enemy did not attempt to ask about whether Mengistu is dead or alive.”
Families of Soldiers ‘Frustrated’
The Hamas official’s remarks came as the Zionist entity marked the five year anniversary of the 2014 war in Gaza, in which IOF soldiers Goldin and Shaul were captured by Hamas.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin each spoke at an official ceremony, asserting that the government “is doing everything it can” to return Goldin and Shaul, as well as civilians Mengistu and al-Sayed.
“I cannot elaborate here [publicly] on everything we are doing, but we are doing a great deal,” Netanyahu said.
However, the ceremony was boycotted by Goldin and Shaul’s parents, who held an alternative memorial along with supporters in the parking lot outside Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl where the official observance was being held. The bereaved parents have expressed frustration with Netanyahu in recent weeks, saying he “hasn’t done anything” to return their sons.
Unconvinced by Netanyahu’s remarks, Goldin’s brother Tzur tweeted, “Give me a break. Five years without a real effort, and that’s what you have to say to the citizens of Israel? Confidentiality on the subject of captivity = disrespect and silencing [the response] to [your] neglect.”
Speaking at their protest ceremony, Goldin’s father Simcha said he had great respect for the president and chief of staff but could not participate in the official memorial “in the face of this failure of the prime minister.”
The Goldins were also angered by Netanyahu’s office calling them last week to requesting an urgent meeting, leading them to believe a breakthrough had been achieved. At the meeting they were asked to attend a UN ceremony to raise awareness for their son’s captivity. The bereaved parents refused and Goldin’s mother Leah left the meeting in the middle, distraught, Times of Israeli reported.