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Report: New Israeli prisoner being held by Hamas in Gaza

Jan. 3, 2015 3:14 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 5, 2015 4:58 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A report on a Lebanese satellite channel on Saturday claimed that an Israeli man who was swept out to sea while swimming off the coast of southern Israel is now being held by Hamas.

The report was aired on al-Mayadeen, a channel known for its sympathies with the Palestinian cause and Hezbollah, and could not immediately be confirmed.

The channel said that the man, who is Jewish of Ethiopian origin, was being held in Gaza, where he ended up on shore after the tide took him.

It also said that Israeli authorities had refused to acknowledge the incident, but were planning to invent a "story" with the individual's family claiming he was "mentally ill."

The report also suggested that racism played a role in the lack of attention given to the case, as it claimed that neither the Israeli government nor right-wing parties had taken up the issue due to the man's African heritage.
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