Israel has “no intention of releasing terrorists in exchange for the two citizens who entered Gaza,” an Israeli security official said after a gag order was lifted to reveal that two Israelis have been held by the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip for 10 months.
“On the one hand, the state is committed to protecting them because they are Israeli citizens, but on the other hand, these are not soldiers who were kidnapped. They are two mentally unstable individuals who crossed into Gaza voluntarily. This is not a classic abduction, it is something different. This incident is on a humanitarian level,” the official said, Israel Hayom reported.
Avera Mengistu, 28, an Israeli of Ethiopian descent, is being held in Gaza after crossing the border fence into Gaza last September. It was also revealed that a mentally unstable Israeli Bedouin crossed the border fence in April and is being held by Hamas. His identity remains under a gag order.
The family of the missing Bedouin has denied that he is being held by Hamas, claiming that he has entered Gaza several times in the past and has always returned.