GAZA (Dispatches) – Al Jazeera Arabic aired audio of a former Zionist trooper being held captive by Hamas resistance movement’s armed branch, the al-Qassam Brigades.
In the audio clip played on Sunday in an episode for the investigative series Tip of the Iceberg, the person said he wonders if and hopes that ‘Israel still exists’, and if so, he wonders whether the regime authorities think of its captured soldiers and are concerned with their release.
He added: “I die every day anew,” saying he hoped to be with his family soon. “Please help,” he pleaded.
It was the first time the al-Qassam Brigades disclosed a recording of this kind.
The Palestinian resistance movement held the Zionist trooper for five straight years from 2006.
The regime’s Channel 12 cited the regime’s security apparatuses as identifying the person speaking in the audio tape as Avera Mengistu, another Zionist trooper, who has reportedly been incarcerated by Hamas since 2014.
Upon hearing the audio, Mengistu’s mother said, “I am waiting for my son and hope to meet him soon, like they have always promised me,” referring to the regime’s officials’ routine pledges of enabling his release.
According to Tel Aviv, Gaza-based resistance movements are also holding another Zionist trooper named as Hisham al-Sayed.
The Gaza-based resistance groups have been using the prisoner card to enable the release of thousands of Palestinians, who are being held in dire conditions and denied of their most basic rights, in prisons across the occupied territories.
By keeping Schalit, the group managed to secure release of more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.
Earlier, senior Hamas’ military official Marwan Issa revealed how the movement had repeatedly prevented the regime from accessing Schalit, before releasing him in 2011.
“More than once, Israel has tried to kidnap senior Hamas figures, including Ahmad Jabari and Ra’ed Al-Attar, and offered large sums of money to anyone who would bring information about Schalit and failed,” he said.
Hamas’ release of the evidence came as the group is reportedly in the midst of efforts to realize emancipation of more prisoners from the Zionist regime’s captivity.