Hamas officials told the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar, which is affiliated with Hezbollah, that the video of Avera Mengistu was published to assess if there was a chance of reaching a new prisoner swap deal with Israel.
"Despite the extreme right-wing government in Israel, it might be possible to reach a deal because it's considered more stable," Hamas officials stated.
The Lebanese newspaper report claims Hamas further said that "The fascist extremists in the government won't stop Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from signing a prisoner swap deal."
"The fascist extremists in the government won't stop Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from signing a prisoner swap deal."Hamas
According to the terrorist group, "most [prisoner swap] deals, historically, were signed with right-wing governments."
When did Hamas share proof that Avera Mengistu was alive in Gaza?
Earlier this month, Hamas shared new information regarding Avera Mengistu, an Ethiopian Israeli national who crossed into the Gaza Strip in 2014.
חמאס פרסם סרטון של אברה מנגיסטו מהשבי לכאורה pic.twitter.com/MmpZK20rmr— וואלה! (@WallaNews) January 16, 2023
"I am the prisoner Avera Mengistu, how long will I be here?" he is heard saying in the video.
At the start of the video, Hamas addressed the new IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi, writing that "The [Izzadin] al-Qassam Brigades (Hamas's military wing) notes the failure of former chief of staff [Aviv] Kohavi and his lies to the people and government with imaginary and delusional achievements.
"Chief of Staff Halevi should prepare himself to bear the burden of this failure and its consequences."
The video was published just a few hours after Halevi officially took up the role of chief of staff.