Skip to main content
Live blog update| Israel's war on Gaza

Hamas leader says Israeli soldier rescue claim 'distraction' from prisoners' video

A member of Hamas' political bureau said the announcement by Israel that it rescued a solider from Gaza is an attempt to "distract" from the "shock" caused by an earlier video released by Hamas showing three other prisoners held by the group. 

Izzat al-Risheq, who is based in Qatar, said "no one believes the false Zionist narrative, not even the Zionist public".

The leader added that "the resistance" - referring to the group's armed al-Qassam Brigades - would provide the truth about the reported Israeli rescue.

The Israeli military said earlier that it had rescued a soldier held by Hamas in Gaza during an overnight ground operation in the besieged strip. The statement did not provide further details on how or when exactly the soldier, Ori Megidish, was purportedly rescued. 

Hours before the Israeli announcement, al-Qassam Brigades released a video of what the group said were three prisoners held by their members in Gaza.

One of the three women filmed in the video harshly rebuked Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

"Netanyahu has failed politically and militarily, and we demand that he return all the prisoners immediately," she said. "The day before yesterday there were discussions about a ceasefire and the release of everyone, but Netanyahu backed down."

Netanyahu called the video "cruel psychological propaganda".

Middle East Eye could not independently verify the authenticity of the claims made by Israel and Hamas.