Netanyahu says Gaza captive Mengistu ‘is alive,’ Hamas responsible for his fate

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

An undated video published by Hamas on January 16, 2023, purportedly of Israeli captive Avera Mengistu. (Screenshot)
An undated video published by Hamas on January 16, 2023, purportedly of Israeli captive Avera Mengistu. (Screenshot)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says Avera Mengistu, a captive Israeli civilian held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas for more than eight years, “is alive,” after the terror group aired apparent recent footage of him yesterday.

“Israel does not stop its efforts to return Avera Mengistu and the rest of our captives and missing persons. Yesterday we received another confirmation of what we knew all along — that Avera is alive,” Netanyahu says after receiving a briefing from Shin Bet officials in the northern West Bank.

“This is a young man, not in good health, and responsibility for his fate rests entirely on Hamas,” Netanyahu adds.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks out of a military post in the northern West Bank, January 17, 2023. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Netanyahu and Shin Bet chief Ronen Bar visited the agency’s northern West Bank offices today, the Prime Minister’s Office says.

He received a security briefing on the agency’s activities in the area, before visiting a nearby military post, the PMO adds.

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