Gaza hostage crisis
Netanyahu: Israel Facing a Cynical, Cruel Enemy

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu meets family of Hamas hostage Avraham Mengistu, vows to do whatever it takes to bring him home.

Ari Soffer,

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Amit Shabi/POOL/Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met Friday afternoon with the family of Avraham (Avera) Mengistu, one of two Israeli citizens currently being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza, at the family's home in Ashkelon.

Concluding the meeting Netanyahu promised the family that the Israeli government "are doing everything, everything in our ability, to bring Avera back - just as we are also involved with the family of another Israeli citizen... to bring him back home as well."

"We are facing here an enemy that is very cynical, very cruel, which denies its basic humanitarian duty to return innocent civilians back home to their country," the prime minister added, referring to the Islamist Hamas terror group.

"We will not stop, and we will do whatever is needed to bring these citizens back home."

Netanyahu's visit followed one earlier Friday by Col. (res) Lior Lotan, the PM's personal envoy on hostage affairs, who apologized for widely-publicized comments in which he appeared to threaten the family over their conduct in campaigning for their son's release. 

In a statement following that meeting the family accepted Lotam's apology and said they wished to move on from the matter.

"After the publication of the recording yesterday, which was done without the knowledge of the family which was very surprised and takes no responsibility for it, a discussion was held between the sides in which Lotan apologized," read the statement of the family's representatives.

"The family accepted the apology and will brush it (the incident) off," it added