Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met on Monday with Agurnesh Mengistu, the mother of Hamas captive Avera Mengistu.
The periodic update comes after Hamas earlier this month released an undated video purportedly of the Israeli man, who crossed into the Gaza Strip on his own accord in 2014.
“I am the prisoner Avera Mengistu. How long will I remain a captive here, I and my comrades, after the long and painful years?” says the man in the video.
“Where are the State and the People of Israel regarding our fate?” he adds.
Hamas is also holding Israeli citizen Hisham al-Sayed, as well as the bodies of two IDF soldiers, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in action during “Operation Protective Edge” in 2014.
Both Mengistu and al-Sayed suffer from mental illness.
“Israel has not stopped efforts to return Avera Mengistu and the rest of our captives and missing people,” Netanyahu said after the video was released, adding: “We received further confirmation of what we knew all along—that Avera is alive. This is a young man who is not fully healthy, and the responsibility for his fate rests entirely in the hands of Hamas.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry has since sent a letter to world leaders calling on them to help secure the release of Israelis being held by Hamas in Gaza.
The ministry noted that Mengistu has been held for over eight years “in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, without providing information about his health condition and without providing any way for him to contact his family or receive visits.”