Family members of Ethiopian Israeli Avera Mengistu, who has been held captive by the Gaza-ruling Palestinian terror group Hamas since 2014, met with the Trump administration’s international negotiations representative, Jason Greenblatt, at the White House on Wednesday.
“Avera has been held by Hamas in Gaza for over 1,000 days since he disappeared in September, 2014. It is outrageous that Hamas will not let him return home or communicate with his family,” Greenblatt tweeted.
In his tweet, the US official also included a prayer for Mengistu’s safe return in both Hebrew and English.
Hamas is believed to have held Mengistu ever since he voluntarily crossed into the coastal territory in September 2014. The terror group has not officially confirmed Mengistu’s detention, but has published content on social media using his image several times.
Mengistu’s relatives have said he suffers from mental health issues.
In May, Human Rights Watch condemned Hamas for its detention of Mengistu.
The Mengistu family is currently touring the US in a bid to raise awareness regarding Avera’s plight. Earlier this week, the family attended the Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly in Los Angeles, where they met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.
The family is also expected to visit the United Nations.