Hamas’s military wing released a Hebrew-language music video Thursday night that taunts the parents of two Israeli soldiers presumed killed in action in a war with the terror group, claiming the men are actually alive and captives in Gaza.
Despite never recovering their bodies, the army has established that during the 2014 summer war between Israel and Hamas, Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and Lt. Hadar Goldin were killed. It maintains that the remains were seized by the terrorist group as bargaining chips.
Hamas has never offered any evidence that the two are still alive, including in the video published on Thursday.
Though Israel has determined there is no doubt that Shaul and Goldin died before their bodies were taken, Hamas has never admitted that the soldiers are dead. Thursday’s ghoulish video appears to seek to reinforce Hamas’s claim that they are alive.
— وكالة شهاب (@ShehabAgency) April 20, 2017
“Mother, Mother I’m here. Why are they saying that I’m dead?” goes one of the lines of the chorus.
Throughout the video, pictures of Shaul and Hadar appear next to their mothers and fathers.
“Mother, Mother, the state is responsible for the lost ones. A day will come when those responsible will be judged,” the song also says.
The song was released with an accompanying Twitter hashtag in Arabic that translates as “Your government lies.”
“Mom, Dad, I’m in the prison of the Qassam Brigades. Do all you can so the truth will come out,” another line says.
Last year Hamas released a similar music video hinting the soldiers may be alive.
Thursday’s video was released a day after the mother of Goldin slammed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his conduct regarding her son.
Leah Goldin, at a Knesset State Control Committee hearing about the 2014 Gaza war, accused Netanyahu of turning the Goldin and Shaul families into the “enemy of the people,” pitting their desire to retrieve their sons’ remains against the country’s security needs.
“Operation Protective Edge isn’t over,” she said, using Israel’s official name for the war. “Hamas wanted to kidnap soldiers and it still has two of them.”
Along with the remains of Goldin and Hadar, Israel has been trying to secure from Hamas the release of two or three Israelis who crossed into the Gaza Strip of their own accord: Avraham Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed and possibly Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima, whose presence in Gaza is unconfirmed.
Hamas demands that Israel release all 60 prisoners from the 2011 Shalit deal who were rearrested in 2014 when three Israeli teens were abducted in the West Bank (it later emerged that they had been killed almost immediately after their abduction) before any advancement in negotiations between the parties can take place.
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal on Saturday indicted a prisoner exchange still might be in the offing, after years without successful negotiations between the two sides.
“For any information concerning the captured Israelis there will be a price. Israel’s threats don’t scare the Hamas movement,” Mashaal said.
Earlier this year, Israel, through a mediator, offered to release Hamas member Bilal Razaineh in return for either Mengistu or Sayed in what was described as a “humanitarian” exchange, as all three are considered to have mental health issues. Hamas declined the offer.
Times of Israel Staff contributed to this report.