President Reuven Rivlin appeared Sunday at a protest held in front of the official president’s residence in Jerusalem, advocating for the release of Ethiopian Israeli immigrant Abera Mengistu, who has been held captive by Hamas in Gaza for more than three years.
Rivlin told the family and its supporters that he was in touch with the family since the day their son, who suffers from mental health problems, walked across the border into the terrorist-controlled territory.
“For almost three years, my brother Abera has been screaming ‘save me,’ and unfortunately his voice has not been heard. We appeal to President Reuven Rivlin to make use of his status and ties and put an end to the suffering of Abera and my family,” Ilan Mengistu said.
Rivlin answered, “I was in contact with the Menistu family from Day One,” after first speaking with Ilan Mengistu, Abera’s brother. The president apologized for not adding Mengistu to the conversation when he spoke with U.S. President Donald Trump about the remains of the two fallen IDF soldiers whose bodies are still being held captive in Gaza by Hamas. The two soldiers were kidnapped after they were killed in the final days of the 2014 counter terror war, Operation Protective Edge.
A meeting between the president and the family was scheduled for later Sunday.