The Forgotten Israeli Hostages

Well before 240 people in Israel were taken hostage on Oct. 7, Hamas had two other Israeli hostages in Gaza for more than nine years! 

And it seems a whole nation forgot about them. Some people don’t even know. 


And what’s more, they both have special needs, suffering from different mental and physical conditions. 


In September 2014 Israeli civilians Avera Mengisto – an Ethiopian Israeli Jew – and then in 2015 Hisham al-Sayed, a Bedouin Israeli Muslim, either illegally entered into or were captured into Gaza and have been held there ever since then.


People are rightfully outraged that Hamas would take children and elderly people, but it’s not a new MO by the group. The two hostages they have for almost 10 years now. Mengisto hadn’t taken his medication for a month leading to his disappearance, his family said at the time.   


During this entire time, Hamas released pictures of the two captives on separate occasions and only one time each. The one with Al Sayed shows him lying down with an oxygen mask.


Then there are still the bodies of Israeli soldiers killed in 2014 in Gaza – Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin. Their bodies have been held in Gaza since then despite the families efforts to get them back for burial in Israel. 


And since we are talking Hamas and hostages, let’s not forget Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who was captured by Hamas in 2006 and held for five years. He was actually released in 2011 in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails. 


So as Israel works to these 240 new hostages released after the Oct 7 Hamas attack, the families of the two long-time hostages are hoping their sons will be a part of any plan or rescue effort to free the hostages. 


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