Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett yesterday said he held Hamas accountable for the health of Israelis being held as prisoners of war in the Gaza Strip, a statement said.
A statement issued by Bennett's Office said: "Hamas proved again tonight that it is a cynical and criminal terrorist organisation, which holds mentally ill civilians in violation of all international conventions and laws, as well as the bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers."
The statement added: "The State of Israel will continue its efforts, mediated by Egypt, to bring the captives and the missing back home."
Bennett's remarks came following the release of video footage for an Israeli captive in Gaza, pointing out that "the health of one of its Israeli prisoners has deteriorated."
كتائب القسام تبث مشاهد للجندي في جيش الاحتلال الأسير لديها هشام السيد pic.twitter.com/9Q0vdcW6Dv
— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) June 28, 2022
An Israeli official described this to Israel's Kan Public Broadcaster as "a provocation by Hamas on the We do not recognize any change in their health."
The Times of Israel reported Israeli military correspondents saying that the announcement was a type of "psychological warfare" as the eighth anniversary of 'Operation Protective Edge' nears.
The Al-Qassam Brigades has said it holds captive four Israeli soldiers Avera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayed, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin as prisoners of war.
Israel claimed that Shaul and Goldin were killed during the Israeli offensive on Gaza in 2014.
READ: Israel asks Egypt for information about soldiers held as POW in Gaza