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Abera Mengistu's mom holding a picture of him
Photo: Gadi Kabalo
900 days a Hamas captive—and counting
Hamas apprehended Abera Mengistu more than 2 years ago after he crossed into the Gaza Strip; after years of fighting and dwindling concern and assistance by the government, his family has grown tired of fighting for his return.

Abera Mengistu's family on Thursday marked 900 days since he crossed the border fence into Gaza, with his mother telling Yedioth Ahronoth, "I'm tired of fighting."

 

 

The family met with Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked earlier this week, urging her to help them get information on what became of Abera.

 

Abera Mengistu's mom holding a picture of him (Photo: Gadi Kabalo)
Abera Mengistu's mom holding a picture of him (Photo: Gadi Kabalo)

 

"She was nice to us, asked a lot of questions and asked us to tell her about him, but other than that there's no solution," Abera's mother said.

 

"It's been over a year since we met with the prime minister. I don't know what he knows but he hasn't met with us since," she continued. "I want to know that he is being fed ant that he is not cold, I want to know that he is being treated well. There is not a minute where I don’t think about him. Every time we sit down to eat I ask myself: is he eating well? Is someone taking care of him?"

 

Abera Mengistu
Abera Mengistu

 

On September 7, 2014, Mengistu, now almost 30, set out at dusk from his home in Ashkelon and crossed the Israel-Gaza border into the Gaza Strip. Now, his family's fight for his return is slowly fading.

 

"He wasn't an IDF combatant, and he is not in the reserves. He was a bit problematic, but he's my boy," she added. "Slowly but surely, people who helped us at the beginning have vanished. We are left with only the young and the people of the community, who I very much love and appreciate, who don’t stop for a moment to fight for us. They fight like lions."

 

"I want (Abera) to be 'everyone's child', not just a child of the Ethiopian community" Mengistu said, quoting the famous Israeli saying. "That's what I ask for. I want to know if he's alive or dead. My gut tells me he's alive, but I don't really know because no one is telling us anything."

 

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