Photo Credit: IDF Spokesperson
The bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul, Hadar Goldin, both murdered in Operation Protective Edge by Arab terrorists from Gaza - were taken and held hostage in Gaza - by Hamas.

The brother of Walid Masoud, head of the terror squad that snatched the body of IDF officer Hadar Goldin in Gaza during the final hours of Operation Tzuk Eitan (Operation Protective Edge), has been released after serving 19 and a half years in an Israeli prison.

Yosef Masoud is a member of the Izz a-Din Al-Qassam battalion — the military wing of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.


Masoud was arrested in 2003 and convicted of launching rockets and other terrorist activities. Upon his release, he was received in Gaza like royalty, Walla! News reported Sunday.

The terrorist has two brothers who were killed in terrorist attacks, both of whom were Hamas operatives.

Hossein Massoud was killed while trying to rescue other Hamas operatives from a collapsed tunnel in Gaza City.

Walid Masoud, the second brother, was killed in August 2014, on what Gazans called “Black Friday in Rafah,” the day of Goldin’s kidnapping. IDF soldiers carried out a massive attack as they desperately tried to recover the bodies of their comrades. Dozens of Gazans died in Rafah, the end point of the tunnel used to kidnap Goldin and IDF officer Oron Shaul.

Walid, who was also killed, served as the head of the squad that snatched Goldin’s body.

Local Gazans reported that IDF forces took Masoud’s body from the scene, because they first thought it was the body of Goldin (apparently he was dressed in an IDF uniform to confuse the soldiers).

The IDF is still holding Walid’s body, as Hamas is still holding the bodies of Goldin and Shaul, along with two living hostages who inadvertently crossed the border into Gaza and were captured a few months later.

But Yosef Masoud is free.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.