Ilan Mengistu, whose brother Avera Mengistu has been held by Hamas in the Gaza Strip since September 2014, appealed directly to the people of Gaza to release him from the grip of the terror group, in an online video posted on Sunday ahead of the Jewish new year.
The video was shared with Arabic subtitles on the Arabic-language Facebook page of Israel’s coordinator of government activities in the territories, Major General Kamil Abu Rukun.
The video received over 7,500 views within an hour of being uploaded.
In the video, Ilan Mengistu addresses his brother, telling Avera how much he and his family miss him.
“Avera, my dear brother, soon we will mark here at home the fifth new year without you,” he said. “We miss you deeply and want to wish you a happy new year in the hope that this year you will be freed from the captivity of the Hamas terror organization.”
ايلان #منغيستو إلى #سكان_غزة: "فقط بعد عودة أخي إلى منزله بأمان يمكنكم العيش في واقع أفضل".تمنى إيلان منغيستو ، شقيق إفيرا، الذي أسرته #حماس في #قطاع_غزة، لشقيقه سنة جديدة سعيدة في انتظار عودته إلى منزله قريباً. كما ناشد سكان #غزة إعادة شقيقه مؤكدًا أن تحسين وضعهم سيتم فقط بعد عودتة سالما.
Posted by المنسق on Sunday, 9 September 2018
He said that he looked forward to celebrating Rosh Hashanah next year with Avera.
“Next year we will celebrate the new year together here at home, with Mom and Dad and the entire family. We all just want to embrace you already,” he said.
Then he turned to address the Gazan people directly, warning them that their future was linked to the return of his brother.
“To the residents of Gaza watching me right now, it is important to me that you know that I know that your economic situation is difficult. However, only after my brother returns home in peace will you be able to live a better reality,” he said.
Two months ago it was revealed that Mengistu’s family appealed to the terror group ruling Gaza to release him in a video handed to Hamas officials in late 2016.
That video, made by the family, along with documents detailing Mengistu’s history of mental illness, were given to Hamas’s military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades.
The materials were handed over to the group by a delegation from the Physicians for Human Rights aid group, which said it had been told by Hamas, but could not independently confirm, that the video had reached those who are holding Mengistu, and had even been seen by Mengistu himself.
PHR said it has been working with Gaza health officials to obtain information about Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed, a Bedouin Israeli man also held by Hamas in Gaza.
Israeli officials say they are working to secure the release of Mengistu and al-Sayed, along with the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, two Israeli soldiers killed in the 2014 war in Gaza, also believed to be held by Hamas.
Both Mengistu and al-Sayed, who suffer from mental illnesses, entered Gaza of their own volition.