Is it really him? Hamas releases video footage of Israeli captive

Gaza terror group releases undated video message it claims is from Avera Mengistu, taken captive in 2014. Mengistu’s brother says he can’t tell if the person in the video is actually Avera.

By World Israel News Staff

The Gaza-based terrorist organization Hamas released footage Monday afternoon purportedly showing Avera Mengistu, a mentally challenged Israeli man taken captive in 2014.

Mengistu, 36, was taken captive in September 2014, after he scaled the security barrier between Israel and the Gaza Strip.

Hours after IDF chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi met with his successor, Herzi Halevi, at a transfer of power ceremony in Jerusalem Monday, Hamas’ military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, released a 45-second video clip, with 10 seconds of footage of a man Hamas claims is Mengistu.

The video mocks Kochavi, calling Mengistu’s continued captivity the outgoing IDF chief of staff’s “failure,” while warning Halevi to be prepared “for this failure and its consequences.”

“I am the prisoner, Avera Mengistu,” the man purported to be Mengistu says in the brief statement. “How much longer will I be here in captivity after so many years of pain and suffering? Where is the State of Israel and the people of Israel?”

The video is undated, and it remains unclear if Mengistu is still alive.

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Mengistu’s family also raised doubts whether the man filmed in the video is indeed Avera.

“I’m not sure it’s him,” Mengistu’s brother, Ilan Mengistu, told Channel 12, saying the video is both “exciting and scary.”

“It’s scary because there’s a resemblance, but I don’t know for sure.”

“They sent it to me and I shared it with all my brothers, and they will tell me.”