Prime Minister Naftali Bennett responded to Hamas' surprise statement Monday evening that the medical condition of one of the Israeli's it is holding captive has deteriorated.
The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement: "Hamas proves again tonight 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 is the one responsible for the situation of the captive civilians."
"The State of Israel will continue its efforts, mediated by Egypt, to restore the captives and the missing, with responsibility and determination," the PMO added.
Mengitsu has been held since 2014, and al-Sayed since 2015. Hamas has not allowed their families or the Red Cross to visit them since taking them captive.
Hamas has attempted to create the impression that Goldin and Shaul are still alive in order to secure a more favorable prisoner exchange with Israel. A recent article in the Hamas-run newspaper 'Palestine' claimed that Shaul was bound to a wheelchair and that Goldin was in good health.
An Israeli security source said in response that there Israel has no information about a change in the health of the prisoners held by Hamas. He added that this appeared to be an attempt at psychological warfare by the terrorist organization.