The Izz ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades today revealed a large billboard bearing a picture of an Israeli soldier it captured as a prisoner of war.
Placed at the Al-Saraya junction, in the centre of Gaza city, the image shows Shaul Arun standing with jail bars around him.
“As long as our heroes do not see freedom and light, neither will this prisoner,” was written in Arabic and Hebrew.
They also listed Arun’s military number, 6092065, in the corner of the picture.
Palestinian activists believe Al-Qassam Brigades released the picture to coincide with the soldier’s birthday.
On 31 December 2016, the Qassam Brigades released two videos “to mark Arun’s birthday”.
In April 2015, Al-Qassam announced the capture of four soldiers for the first time, without officially announcing whether they were dead or alive.
They also failed to release the names of the captured soldiers, except for Arun. The brigades’ spokesman Abu Obaida, announced on 20 July 2014 that Arun was captured while Al-Qassam fighters were fighting off a ground invasion by Israeli occupation forces in the Tuffah neighbourhood.
The Israeli government announced that two soldiers went missing during the Israeli war on the Gaza Strip in 2014. It named the soldiers as Shaul Arun and Hadar Goldin saying they had been killed in combat. However, the Defence Ministry recently classified them as missing and captive.
In addition to the two soldiers, Israel has also said that two Israelis, one of Ethiopian origin and the other of Arab origin, are missing, after having entered Gaza illegally.