'Time for UN to take on Hamas kidnappers'

Israeli Ambassador to UN joins family of Israeli man taken captive by Hamas terror organization, calls on UN to force Hamas to set him free.

David Rosenberg ,

Ambassador Danon with Agarnesh and Ilan Gashao Mengistu
Ambassador Danon with Agarnesh and Ilan Gashao Mengistu
Israeli Mission to UN

Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon joined the parents of an Israeli man held captive by the Hamas terrorist organization, demanding that the Gaza-based terror group free the young man and urging the international community to push for his release.

On September 7th, 2014, Avraham ‘Avre’ Mengistu, an Ethiopian-born Israeli from the coastal city of Ashkelon, was taken captive in the Gaza Strip, after he crossed into the Hamas-controlled area near Zikim beach. Mengistu’s family say he had a history of mental illness, and had stopped taken his medication shortly before his disappearance.

Mengistu’s mother, Agarnesh Mengistu, and his brother, Ilan Gashao Mengistu, appeared with Ambassador Danon at the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan Monday, calling on the international body to use its influence to pressure the Gaza-based Hamas terror group to return Mengistu to his family.

“I am here today with Avre’s mother and brother to demand answers,” said Danon.

Israel’s ambassador noted that while Mengistu was presumed to be alive, Hamas had not released any so-called “sign of life” to verify his present condition.

“The terrorists of Hamas have refused to even provide a sign of life to these suffering families. All those who demand an end to the humanitarian plight for the residents of Gaza must also demand the immediate release of all Israelis held by Hamas,” Danon said. “Hamas is also holding the almost two million residents of the Gaza Strip hostage. Instead of providing education and healthcare they’re digging terror tunnels and building rockets while denying their people the chance for a good life. Let me be clear. Israel will not rest until all of our citizens return home,” Danon continued.

Standing with his mother Agarnesh, Avre’s brother, Ilan Gashao, addressed the international community.

“The Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza is toying with the life of a mentally disabled civilian. They are playing a cynical and cruel game with the life of a man who has never harmed a soul,” Mr. Mengistu said. “I have a brother – he is helpless – and he needs your help. Look at my mother. She is a mother like all other mothers, and she deserves to know the fate of her son,” Mengistu continued.

“We are here today, at the United Nations, to call on the international community to put the full weight of its authority on anyone who can help release my brother Avre. Pressure the international organizations that have showed weakness and helplessness. And of course, pressure Hamas, which is holding an ill individual captive more than three years, and is responsible for his fate.”