‘Hamas’ Evil Cynicism’: Former IDF Intel Chief Rejects Hamas Claims

Hamas said Sunday that Israel may have bombed one of the “soldiers” it has been holding in captivity during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021.

By Aryeh Savir | | Topics: Hamas, Israeli POWs
Hamas - The Face of Cynicism Photo: Majdi Fathi/TPS

(TPS) — Hamas’ claims that Israel bombed “Zionist soldiers” it is holding in the Gaza Strip are “evil cynicism” and a lie, Tamir Hayman, Managing Director of Israel National Security Studies (INSS) and former head of IDF Intelligence corps, said.

Hamas claimed Sunday that Israel may have bombed one of the “soldiers” it has been holding in captivity during Operation Guardian of the Walls in May 2021.

On the 8th anniversary of Operation Protective Edge, which took place in the summer of 2014 and during which Hamas forces captured the bodies of two IDF soldiers, Hamas announced that during Operation Guardian of the Walls, one of its facilities was subjected to an Israeli bombardment, which led to the death of one of Hamas’ fighters and the wounding of three others, and this while they were on a securing one of the “Israeli soldiers.”

Responding to the claims, Hayman said that Hamas’ claims are “evil cynicism” and he can testify that every target that was attacked last year was “a precise target for a clear operational purpose.”

“The attempt [by Hamas] to imply that the IDF attacks are the ones that led to the death of the captives is evil cynicism. Its purpose is to reduce the pressure of Hamas prisoners on the Hamas leadership [to release them], which is unable to squeeze an achievement from the Israeli leadership. This is another attempt to flood Israeli society with this very painful issue,” he explained. “A wretched and evil attempt by Hamas.”

Israeli analyst Yoni Ben Menachem, of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs (JCPA), noted that Hamas’ announcement is “a transparent and cheap psychological warfare trick in an attempt to put pressure on Israel and also to show the security prisoners and their families that it is doing everything to reach a deal with Israel. Hamas has been trying for a long time to provoke an internal debate in Israel without success.”

Hamas has essentially been begging for a prisoner exchange deal in recent months.

Hamas is holding Avera Mengistu, an Israeli with mental health issues who willingly crossed the border into the Gaza Strip several years ago and has since been held by the terror organization. Hamas is also holding Hisham al-Sayed, an Israeli-Muslim from the Bedouin community, who crossed the border into Gaza seven years ago and has since been held in captivity.

In June, Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas’ Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades military wing, announced al-Sayed’s health situation has deteriorated. Hamas displayed a short clip of him lying in bed while connected to oxygen.

The Prime Minister’s Office has stated in response that “Hamas has proven yet again that it is a cynical and criminal terrorist organization, which holds mentally ill civilians in violation of all international conventions and laws, as well as the bodies of fallen IDF soldiers.”

Hamas has been holding the two citizens as well as the two bodies of fallen IDF soldiers killed in the summer of 2014 during Operation Protective Edge as bargaining chips, a violation of the Geneva Conventions and International Humanitarian Law. The Israeli government has been negotiating for several years with Hamas, with no progress.

The remains of IDF soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul are thought to be held by Hamas.

Goldin, of the elite Givati Reconnaissance Unit, was killed and abducted by Hamas during a battle with terrorists. Two other IDF soldiers also died in the incident. The battle ensued hours after an UN-sponsored ceasefire came into effect.

Shaul was killed in battle together with another six Golani soldiers in Shajaiya when their armored personnel carrier was hit by an anti-tank rocket. His body was never recovered and is assumed to be held by Hamas.

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