The IDF is unsure whether Israeli captive in Gaza Avraham Mengistu is alive or dead, a senior officer from the General Staff revealed Monday.
"There is conflicting information on whether or not he is alive," the officer told Walla! News.
Either way, the officer said, there is no equivalence between the way Israel deals with soldiers kidnapped by Hamas, or the bodies of Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin the terror group is holding as a bargaining chip, versus how Israel deals with civilians like Mengistu.
"We must not play into the hands of Hamas in this cynical game," the officer said.
Aside from Mengistu, a Bedouin Arab citizen of Israel is also being held by Hamas.
Hamas has attempted to trick both Israel and the international community on multiple occasions about Mengistu's whereabouts and status, including claiming falsely that the mentally ill Israeli was an IDF soldier and attempting to return an Eritrean illegal alien in Mengistu's place during a failed retrieval attempt.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) stated last week that no terrorist prisoner swap deals would be made for Mengistu or the Bedouin Israeli, in an additional proof that Mengistu was not a captured soldier.