Ex- British prime minister Tony Blair has been acting as a go-between in discussions between Israel and Hamas over the release of two Israelis held captive in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, according to reports.
Israeli sources would not confirm the news, except to deny previous reports that Egyptian or German officials were serving as mediators.
Israeli authorities claimed that Avraham Mengistu, an Ethiopian Israeli “is being held against his will by Hamas in Gaza“, adding that another is also being held.
The second Israeli believed held captive in Gaza is an Arab, about whom details are still under court-imposed restrictions.
Mengistu owns by Israel’s 135,000-strong cultural Ethiopian society that will says it gets racism and prejudice.
Two Israeli non-military people are increasingly being held in Gaza by Hamas, based on an announcement delivered by Israeli origins. But, said Mashaal, Hamas will not give up any information whatsoever until Israel releases all the Hamas members who had gone free in the Shalit exchange but who were rearrested late last spring, when Israel was seeking information on the three Israeli teenagers who were kidnapped by a Hamas terror cell and later found murdered in the West Bank.
The government’s silence about Mengistu’s captivity for over ten months prompted some accusations of racism in recent days, including by Hamas.
Knesset admitted a failure in its intelligence oversight subcommittee, saying last week after the gag order was lifted that “in this case it appears that there was a specific failure”.
Isaac Herzog, the head of the Zionist Union and Opposition leader had criticized Netanyahu on Facebook last week for “waiting until media pressure and public opinion” obliged him to contact the Mengistu family. Then, with Lotan present, he made called them on the phone. “We shall study the case and ensure that it is not repeated”.
Lior Lotan, the prime minister’s aide for missing and captive persons, apologized Thursday in a written statement, following the publication of a recording of his meeting earlier this week with the parents of Avera Mengistu.
Israel has not received any indication as to the condition of either missing Israeli, except that Hamas said that they released Mengistu shortly after he crossed in Gaza, saying that he left the Strip via the Rafah checkpoint.