A storm of speculation has followed statements by Hamas political and military leaders in the Gaza Strip, especially regarding the issue of the occupation soldiers captured by the Izz Al-Din Al-Qassam Brigades, the movement's armed wing. We are facing a surreal and far from clear scenario open on all fronts to presumptions and attempts to read between the lines.
The Israelis are bitter that their soldiers have been captured and are unsure whether four or five are being held, and whether they are alive or dead. The government is forced to enter the maze of indirect negotiations for their release. In this situation, it is as if it is dealing with ghosts, and required to give everything without seeing anything.
With the passage of time we are witnessing a remarkable development in the discourse of the Qassam Brigades, offset by a development in the use of tools that refer to some indirect information about the condition of the prisoners of war from the occupation army. Recently, this has meant an audio recording claimed to be made by one of the Israeli prisoners, who asks for help from his government and his family to save him from captivity and obtain his release.
It is clear that the resistance is bypassing intermediaries and governments and sending a direct message to the Israeli public. In doing so, it is hitting the exposed nerve of Israeli contradictions regarding the reality of the situation of Ethiopian Jews in the self-styled "Jewish state". It is likely that the recording is of the voice of Avera Mengistu, an Ethiopian, who asked if the authorities are really thinking about all Israeli soldiers in captivity, worrying about them and working for their release. The inference is that the occupation government isn't as concerned about his captivity as it was with the case of Gilad Shalit, who was held in Gaza for five years before being released in 2011 in exchange for 1,027 Palestinian prisoners.
In this way, the resistance is embarrassing the Israeli prime minister with regard to the lies that he is promoting to the public that the soldiers are dead and that the negotiations are taking place only to have their bodies returned. This approach by the resistance is based on calmness and trust, and aims ultimately to insult the Israeli military, security apparatus and media.
The Qassam Brigades are sending messages regarding the prisoners to reactivate their cause and put pressure on the Israeli government. It is only revealing a small part of its intelligence treasure buried deep, full of both secrets and soldiers. The black box will not be opened until Israeli cells depriving our people of their freedom are opened.
This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 7 June 2021
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.