US envoy demands that ‘despicable’ Hamas release all captive Israelis

“How reprehensible of Hamas to cause such horrible suffering,” Jason Greenblatt said of Hamas holding Israeli citizens.

By: World Israel News Staff

Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special Mideast envoy, met on Thursday in Israel with families whose loved ones are being held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, is believed to be holding the remains of two IDF soldiers, Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul, killed during the 2014 war.

Shaul was killed in battle together with another six Golani soldiers in Shajaiya in 2014 when their armored personnel carrier was hit by an anti-tank rocket. His body was never recovered and is assumed to be held by Hamas.

Goldin was abducted by Hamas and killed during a battle with Hamas terrorists in Shajaiya. Two other IDF soldiers also died in the incident. The battle ensued hours after a UN-sponsored ceasefire came into effect.

In addition, Hamas is believed to be holding two Israeli civilians who scaled a border fence and entered Gaza. Ethiopian-Israeli Avera Mengistu and Bedouin Hisham al-Sayed, both said to be suffering from mental health issues, crossed into Gaza willingly in 2014 and 2015, respectively, and were captured by Hamas.

Greenblatt met with the Goldin, Shaul, Mengistu, and al-Sayed families.

“These families are suffering unbearable pain as a result of the shameful, despicable acts of Hamas. All Israelis must be returned and I pray for their families,” Greenblatt tweeted after the meeting referring to Goldin and Shaul.

“How reprehensible of Hamas to cause such horrible suffering,” Greenblatt said of Hamas holding Mengistu and al-Sayed. Greenblatt added a “heartfelt plea,” demanding that Hamas “send our brothers home!”

Greenblatt is in Israel to promote the Trump administration’s peace plan.

In September, Hamas refused a request by the International Red Cross to meet with the Israeli captives.