'Don't forget our captive brother in Gaza'

Family asks Netanyahu not to sign Turkey deal without assurances about Avera Mengistu, Israeli captured by Hamas.

Orli Harari ,

Avraham Mengistu
Avraham Mengistu
Courtesy of the family

The family of Avera Mengistu is asking Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu not to sign the reconciliation agreement with Turkey unless he receives information about Avera and proof that he is still alive.

Mengistu is a mentally ill Israeli man who crossed the border fence into Gaza in September 2014. Hamas admits that they captured and interrogated him, but officially claims to have let him go. Israeli does not believe this assertion and insists that the terror group is still holding him - not least because Hamas still continues to boast of holding him in its propaganda.

Yoel Marshak, the head of the campaign to release Mengistu, says: "We understand that the agreement with Turkey includes numerous concessions and agreements dealing with Hamas. It's not reasonable that a Jew, an Israeli who is being held prisoner by this murderous terror organization should be forgotten in the process.

"Prime Minister, you have the power to demand that Turkey put pressure on Hamas to end this miserable affair. Have we forgotten our brothers? We demand that the Prime Minister announce he will not sign the agreement with Turkey unless they deal with the issue of prisoners held in Gaza."

Avera's brother, Ilan Mengistu, also said, "My sick and mentally disabled brother is being held by Hamas against all international conventions. Avera is still alive. He is my brother, and a brother to each and every one of us. Have we forgotten him? Prime Minister - help my imprisoned brother."