Mengistu's Family
Mengistu's Family Arutz Sheva

Nearly two dozen demonstrators blocked the entrance to Israel's Erez border crossing with Gaza on Thursday calling for the immediate release of Hamas captive Avraham (Avera) Mengistu. 

Mengistu’s brother Ilan was among the protestors. He demanded that Hamas, which controls Gaza, free his brother due to his severe psychological state. 

Ilan also spoke to Palestinians at the border crossing requesting that they place pressure on the terror group to release Mengistu quickly. 

Mengistu entered Gaza last September due to mental illness, and has reportedly been held by Hamas ever since.

The family initially kept a low-profile when a gag order on the case was lifted several months ago, relying on the state to take action. In the past month, though, it has begun staging protests and calling on the public to help it secure Mengistu's release.

At a protest last week outside the Hadarim Prison in the coastal Sharon region, Mengistu's family passed out fliers to the families of jailed Arab terrorists who came to visit, accusing them of being involved in Mengistu's ongoing captivity.

"You can visit your sons today, but there's a family that not only cannot see him (their son), they don't even know where he is," read the fliers. "Avera is sick and needs medical treatment, tell your leaders to return Avera home now."

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon (Likud) stated in July that no terrorist prisoner swap deals would be made for Mengistu or the Israeli Bedouin Arab who it was reported is also being held by Hamas in Gaza.