What Hamas’ Release of New Photo of Captured Israelis Tells Us

On the occasion of the anniversary of the Gilad Shalit-terrorist exchange, Hamas has published a taunting message for Israel regarding four Israelis they are holding captive.

Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, has published a new picture showing four Israeli captive soldiers in the Gaza Strip.

The photo contains a message to the Israeli occupation state saying in Arabic and Hebrew “Your soldiers are still in Gaza.”

The soldiers in the photo are Shaul Oron, Hadar Goldin, Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed.

Al-Qassam Brigades released the photo on the eighth anniversary of the 2011 prisoner swap deal known locally as “Wafa al-Ahrar.” The deal led to the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for one Israeli soldier called Gilad Shalit.

The message is telling in a number of ways.

For a start, while Shaul Oron and Hadar Goldin were soldiers, the same cannot be said for Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, mentally ill Israeli civilians who crossed in to Gaza. Yet Hamas consider them to be soldiers, just like they consider all Israeli civilians. It says a lot, especially when they claim to never target civilians but only soldiers.

Then there’s the fact that Shaul Oron and Hadar Goldin are almost certainly dead, while Avraham Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed are thought to be alive. They are mentioning them all as if they are all alive because Israel negotiates for the bodies of our dead, just as we do for the release of our living. That, and Hamas is taunting us, especially the families of the dead.

Also consider how the identities of the captured reveal the diversity of Israeli society, as they include an Ethiopian Jew and a Bedouin. Israeli cares for all of her civilians, while Hamas deliberately puts its own in harm’s way

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