Hamas announces 'deterioration' of Israeli held captive
Israel believes that it is a provocation to mark the eighth anniversary of Operation Protective Edge
The military wing of Gaza's Hamas on Monday issued an unusual statement on the "deterioration" of one of the two Israelis it is holding captive.
"There has been a medical deterioration in the condition of one of the Israeli prisoners," the Gaza-based terrorist group announced, indicating that more details would be provided in the coming hours, Ynetnews reported.
According to the report, Israel believes that the move is a provocation ahead of the eighth anniversary of the 2014 Gaza War, also known as Operation Protective Edge. The military operation in response to increasing rocket and mortar fire from the Gaza Strip was launched on July 8, 2014.
Hamas is currently holding two Israelis - Avera Mangistu and Hisham al-Sayed.
An Israeli source said that he did not recognize a change in the health of the two prisoners.
A Palestinian source in Gaza told Ynet that Hamas wants to put the issue of a prisoner exchange back on the public radar as they try to advance negotiations with Israel on a prisoner swap.
The Palestinian source said that Hamas would try to show a video through mediators to Israel to back up their claim of the declining health condition of one of the prisoners.
Another possibility, according to the report, is that Hamas will announce the deaths of Oron Shaul or Hadar Goldin, who were killed during the 2014 Gaza War but who Hamas insists are still alive.
This would be another way to bring the issue to the public attention and put pressure on Israel who wants their bodies returned.