Hamas releases new footage of Shalit in captivity

Hamas releases new footage of Shalit in captivity

Israeli soldier seen sitting among uniformed guards during his period of imprisonment in the Gaza Strip

Dov Lieber is The Times of Israel's Arab affairs correspondent.

The military wing of the Palestinian terror group Hamas on Wednesday released previously unseen footage of Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier held captive in Gaza from 2006 to 2011.

The footage shows Shalit sitting among his uniformed captors, wearing the shirt he was eventually released in. In the next scene, he is seen calmly accepting a drink from someone dressed in civilian clothing.

Gilad Shalit in his 'famous shirt' on the day of his release. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)
Gilad Shalit in his ‘famous shirt’ on the day of his release. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)

The footage was released by the terror group to mark the fourth anniversary of the deaths of two of its members who had guarded over Shalit in the so-called “shadow unit.”

They were killed in 2013, in the first-ever attack tunnel operation against Israeli soldiers.

A year after Shalit was freed, the Hamas military wing released a video dramatizing and documenting the June 25, 2006, raid into Israel during which Shalit was abducted and two other Israel Defense Forces soldiers were killed.

The 45-minute propaganda film showed the planning, preparation, and kidnapping of Shalit on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border.

In January 2016, Hamas released the first-ever video of Shalit in captivity. The footage showed Shalit smiling as he tends to a barbecue, apparently surrounded by his guards.

Still image from a Hamas video released on January 3, 2016, apparently showing IDF soldier Gilad Shalit tending a barbecue during his captivity in Gaza. (screen capture)

Hamas is thought to currently be holding three Israeli civilians — Avraham Abera Mengistu, Hisham al-Sayed and Juma Ibrahim Abu Ghanima — who are all believed to have entered the Gaza Strip of their own accord. The terror group has also been holding the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul since the two were killed in the Gaza Strip during the 2014 war there.

The terror group has refused to give proof of life or captivity for any of those individuals.

Repeated attempts by Israel to negotiate a prisoner swap with Hamas to free Israelis currently imprisoned in Gaza have failed.

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