A group of retired security personnel, headed by former Shin Bet security service chief Yuval Diskin and former colleagues of fallen pilot Ron Arad, joined the family of Abera Mengistu and other social activists in order to raise awareness of his captivity by Hamas, which has been holding him for more than three years.
"The case of Abera Mengistu is a humanitarian case, and it is our responsibility to enlist and help in any way possible, which is why we decided to act," says Ronen Merav, Ron Arad's friend from the pilot's course.
"This is a humanitarian case of a helpless person. Abera is not the problem of the Mengistu family but of the entire Israeli society."
Thousands of people undertake various measures throughout the country to secure Mengistu's release. Some 500 of them will run Tuesday night in Tel Aviv with shirts bearing his name.
In the coming weeks, representatives of the Mengistu family and prominent activists will leave for the United Nations and talk with US officials.
Abera Mengistu, 28, from Ashkelon, crossed the border into the Gaza Strip on September 7, 2014.
He is being held captive by Hamas, according to Palestinian sources, but Hamas had refused to provide any information about him.
At a rally held for him last month, family members claimed that government officials had not contacted them about their son for a year and a half.