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Palestinian terrorist group releases footage of suspected Israeli captive held since 2014: Report


Daily Caller News Foundation

Hamas, a Palestinian terrorist group, released the first footage of a man believed to be Avera Mengistu, an Israeli man captured in 2014 after he crossed into the Gaza Strip, according to the Times of Israel.

Mengistu reportedly had mental health issues and was disqualified from serving in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF), according to the Times. The footage shows Mengistu sitting in front of a camera, asking how long he will be kept a prisoner.

“For how long will I be in captivity?” the man believed to be Mengistu asks during the video, according to Haaretz. “After so many years, where is the state and the people of Israel?”

Emanuel Fabian, The Times’ military correspondent, posted the video on Twitter, noting that the date and the “authenticity” of the video were “unclear.”

Mengistu had a history of mental illness after his brother died leading to several stays at the hospital for psychiatric evaluation, according to the Times. After Mengistu went missing in 2014 his family appeared at the United Nations, calling for action to be taken to release their son, according to Haaretz.

Mengistu’s brother, Yallo, said he was “excited and scared” after seeing the video, according to the Times.

“He looks like Avera, but on the other hand, it’s not 100% Avera,” Yallo told Channel 12 news. “There’s a similarity, but… I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. I can’t tell you for sure that it’s him.”

The video was released on the same day that Lt. Gen. Herzl Halevi was sworn in as the IDF chief of staff on Monday, and was addressed to both Herzl and the out-going chief of staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi, according to the Jewish News Syndicate. The video blasted Kohavi for “lies to his people” and issued a warning to Halevi.

“The incoming IDF chief of staff Halevi must prepare himself to carry the burden of this failure and its consequences,” the video stated.

The Daily Caller News Foundation could not independently verify the footage.

The IDF did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment. Hamas could not be reached for comment.

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Republished with permission from Daily Caller News Foundation

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