Hamas on Sunday evening blasted the Israeli government over its decision not to return the bodies of Hamas terrorists who were killed while carrying out terrorist attacks, as part of a new plan of action on bringing back the Israeli soldiers and civilians held captive by Hamas in Gaza.
The terrorist group said in a statement that the decision, as agreed upon by the Security Cabinet, is “vindictive and barbaric”.
“These decisions will not give positive results," it warned.
Hamas, whose charter openly calls for Israel’s destruction, continues to hold the bodies of IDF soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, whom it captured during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge.
In addition, it is believed to be holding Avraham (Avera) Mengistu, an Ethiopian Jew who was suffering from mental health problems when he wandered unarmed across the border to Gaza. He has not been heard from since.
Hamas has repeatedly said that Israel would have to “pay the price” to secure the release of Mengistu, Goldin, Shaul and a Bedouin who went missing in Gaza as well.
On Saturday, the terrorist group taunted Israel by publishing two video clips featuring Shaul on the occasion of his birthday.
The first video, which was published four days after Shaul's birthday and the day before New Year's Eve, shows people wearing IDF uniforms sitting around a table. On the table is a cake which says "Oron is in captivity for three years."
Later, a Hebrew-language subtitle appears, which says, "One more New Year away from home." Underneath it, an Arabic subtitle reads, "A new year, and the soldier Oron Shaul is far from his family."
The second video clip shows a soldier tied to a chair, with a picture of Shaul glued onto the actor's face. Opposite him, the cake waits, and the soldier struggles to free himself and reach it, but to no avail. At the end of the video, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu walks in the door, dressed as a clown. Netanyahu then walks towards the cake and puts out the candles.
"The decision is in the government's hands," reads the final subtitle in Hebrew and Arabic.