Oron Shaul (r.) and Hadar Goldin
Oron Shaul (r.) and Hadar Goldin Courtesy of the families

A spokesman for the military arm of the Hamas terrorist organization, Abu Ubayda, has published an announcement related to slain IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, whose bodies are being held by Hamas as bargaining chips for a potential exchange with terrorists imprisoned in Israel.

According to the announcement, during Operation Guardian of the Walls, the IDF bombed a building in Gaza in which people protecting the soldiers were located, and one of the operatives was killed in the explosion.

"Your government is lying," the announcement adds, in an attempt to arouse confusion regarding the fate of the two soldiers and the progress of negotiations between the Israeli government and Hamas. This is not the first time that Hamas has attempted to create the impression that the two soldeirs are still alive, mainly in order to obtain a better deal when exchanging them for Arab prisoners being held by Israel.

In response, Israeli officials stated that "Hamas was lying."

Not long ago, Hamas published a video purportedly showing Hisham al-Sayad, an Israeli civilian they are holding captive, in a hospital bed and hooked up to an oxygen machine.

The video was published a day after the military wing of Hamas issued an unusual statement on the condition of the Israeli citizens it is holding, claiming that the condition of one them has deteriorated.

Al-Sayea, a Bedouin, has been held by Hamas since he wandered into Gaza in 2015. Hamas has also been holding another Israeli citizen, Avera Mengistu, since 2014. Both men suffer from mental illness.