“Although we have no sign of life, the working assumption is that the man is alive,” the source said.
Since Mengistu crossed into Gaza in September 2014, the Israeli defense establishment has carried out numerous efforts to secure his release, all of which have failed. The man was never drafted into the IDF due to medical reasons.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and senior defense officials have met with the man’s family and his relatives have visited the Gaza division where they received the missing man’s bag.
According to the security source, Mengistu crossed Gaza via the coast. During his crossing, the man ignored calls from soldiers to turn back.
In light of the situation, Israel has reached out to regional and international bodies in order to gather more information on Mengistu’s condition and has demanded his immediate release. The statement added that Israel will continue in all efforts to end this situation with the return of the citizen back to Israel.
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