Families of Israeli captives in Gaza meet with UN chief, appeal for help

“Hamas is displaying appalling cruelty by holding our citizens and soldiers. The UN must act to ensure their return to Israel,” Ambassador Danon told Guterres during a meeting with the captives’ families.

The United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres recently met with the families of Israeli soldiers and citizens currently held hostage by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

During their meeting, the families of Oron Shaul, Avera Mengistu and Hisham Al-Sayeed requested the Secretary-General’s assistance in the effort to return their sons to Israel.

Hamas is holding the body of Shaul, an IDF soldier killed during Operation Protective Edge in the summer 2014. Mangistu and Al-Sayeed, who both have mental health issues, had wandered into Gaza voluntarily.

During the meeting, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon stated, “Hamas is displaying appalling cruelty by holding our citizens and soldiers. The UN must act to ensure their return to Israel.”

Guterres arrived in Israel Monday for a three-day visit. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin each met with the UN chief, appealing to him to focus on ending the anti-Israel bias at the world body. The most important issue to tackle, Netanyahu stressed, is the growing threat from Iran-backed Hezbollah on Israel’s border with Syria.

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Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar, one of 1,027 Palestinian terrorists released from Israeli prison in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner swap, has suggested another prisoner exchange.  Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said there will be no further “lopsided” prisoner exchanges.

By: World Israel News Staff