Yaakov Peri
Yaakov PeriMiriam Alster / Flash 90

MK Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid), a member of the security cabinet in the previous government, stated Thursday that the cabinet was never alerted by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to the case of an Israeli civilian taken captive by Hamas in September. 

It wasn't until former MK Pnina Tamano Shatta discussed Avraham Mengistu's status with them that the security cabinet became aware of the situation. 

According to Shatta, the Mengistu family was informed by the IDF that Avraham had entered Gaza, and that they were unable to stop him or retrieve him before Hamas terrorists abducted him.

Peri asserted members of the cabinet were “shocked” at the failure of the Prime Minister and IDF to inform them on the situation.

While the security cabinet was not informed right away about the situation, they, too kept the story quiet after receiving information. 

When asked why, Peri said that “the first instinct in negotiating with Hamas is to do everything to keep their 'price' for the release of an Israeli down. When these things become public, the demands go up as pressure grows for the release of the kidnap victim."

MK Nachman Shai, also a former member of the cabinet, confirmed Peri's claims. “I see the failure of the leadership in informing the security cabinet, which is obligated to be informed of these things, as a serious breach of protocol."

Activists in the Ethiopian community have charged the Israeli government with not being aggressive enough in trying to discover the whereabouts of Avraham Mengistu for racial reasons.