Two Israeli citizens held in Gaza say Israeli authorities

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Two Israeli citizens held in Gaza say Israeli authorities

Hamas terrorists surround a child dressed as a suicide bomber.
Hamas terrorists surround a child dressed as a suicide bomber.

Hamas11Two Israeli citizens are being held in the Gaza Strip, at least one of them Hamas, Israeli authorities have said, after a gag order was lifted.

As memories of Gilad Shalit came flooding back, on the first anniversary of the war in Gaza, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the dramatic announcement, and said he held Hamas responsible for their well-being.

One man, an Israeli of Ethiopian descent, was listed as Avraham Mengistu, who supposedly cross the border of his own accord two weeks after the fighting. The other man, a Bedouin Arab from the Negev, is also being held.

As details emerged that Mengistu was being held against his will, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said it was “a humanitarian matter”. He added: “I expect those holding him to treat him properly and to return him in full health.”

Hamas spokesman Salah Bardawil seemed not to know about it, saying: “We don’t have any information about it. Even if is true, we don’t have instructions to talk.”

Netanyahu said Israel was working to free the men and that he had appointed an interlocutor to deal with the matter. This is believed to be Lior Lotan, a former Colonel and negotiator with an elite military unit.

Netanyahu added: “Yesterday I spoke with the parents and siblings of Avraham Mengistu and I told them that … we have spared no effort to return him to Israel.”

Netanyahu said, adding that he expected the international community to “issue a clear call” for the men’s release.

On Tuesday, Khaled Mashaal, the head of Hamas’ political wing, told London-based Al-Araby Al-Jadeed newspaper that Israel had asked Hamas to release “two soldiers and two bodies.” The bodies are of Israeli soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, which have been in Hamas hands since the soldiers were killed last summer.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

Unlike other Jewish media, we do not charge for content. That won’t change. Because we are free, we rely on advertising to cover our costs. This vital lifeline, which has dropped in recent years, has fallen further due to coronavirus.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: