Hamas Releases Video of Captive Israeli in Hospital Bed

By Hamodia Staff

YERUSHALAYIM – Hamas on Tuesday released a video of a captive Israeli citizen it has held incommunicado since 2015, showing the man lying in a hospital bed while wearing an oxygen mask.

It was the first image of Hisham al-Sayid to be released since he wandered across the frontier from southern Israel into Gaza. Its release came a day after Hamas said the condition of one of the Israelis it is holding captive had deteriorated.

In the video, al-Sayid, 34, is seen lying in bed with a mask over his mouth and nose and what appears to be an oxygen canister next to him. He appears tired and dazed, but does not speak and there is no audio.

Other parts of the video show an intravenous drip next to the bed as well as an image of al-Sayid’s Israeli identification card. Al-Sayid is a member of Israel’s Bedouin Arab minority.

There is no date on the video. But a TV screen in the video showed images of the Qatar Economic Forum, which was held in Doha last week.

The Israeli Prime Minister’s Office denounced release of the video as being “in complete contravention of international law.

“Distributing a video of an ill person is abhorrent and deplorable…The actions of Hamas prove that it is a cynical and reprehensible terrorist organization,” the statement said.

Hamas is believed to be holding the remains of two Israeli soldiers killed during a 2014 war. Israel has pronounced the soldiers dead Hy”d, though Hamas has never confirmed this. Hamas is also believed to be holding two Israeli civilians who wandered across the frontier, including al-Sayid. Rights groups say that both civilians suffer from mental illness.

Hamas has given no details on the conditions or whereabouts of its prisoners, and it has never allowed the Red Cross to visit them.

Late on Monday, after Hamas said one of its prisoner’s condition had deteriorated, Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said Hamas was a “cynical and criminal terrorist organization that holds mentally ill civilians in violation of all international conventions and laws.”

Hamas has demanded the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, including people convicted in deadly attacks, in exchange for the captive Israelis. The prime minister’s office said Israel would continue working through Egyptian mediation to bring about the release of the captives.

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