Hamas video appears to show Israeli man kidnapped in 2014

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Jan. 16 (UPI) — The Palestinian militant group Hamas released a video Monday purporting to show a kidnapped Israeli man missing since 2014.

The short clip appears to show Avera Mengistu, who crossed the border into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip in 2014 where he was kidnapped by Hamas.

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Mengistu has not been heard of since then.

In September, supporters held a rally marking eight years since Mengistu’s disappearance.

If authenticated, the video would prove Mengistu is still alive.

“How long will my friends and I remain in captivity here after long years of suffering and pain? Where are the state and the people of Israel?,” he appears to say in the video.

Israeli security forces had not verified the video’s authenticity by late Monday evening.

“I’m not sure it’s him,” Mengistu’s brother, Ilan Mengistu, said in an interview with Israeli broadcaster N12 News.

“It’s scary because there’s a resemblance, but I don’t know for sure,” he said. “They sent it to me and I shared it with all my brothers, and they will tell me.”

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The video itself lays out a direct challenge to Israel’s incoming military chief of staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi, who was sworn in on Monday. The video warns Halevi he “must prepare himself to bear the burden of that failure and its consequences.”

It also takes aim at Israeli Defense Force chief Aviv Kohavi, superimposing a quote over a photo of him.

“I am very sorry that I wasn’t able to solve the issue of returning the soldiers during my time [as chief of staff],” the quote reads.

Mengistu, an Israeli citizen of Ethiopian descent who was in his late 20s at the time of his disappearance, walked into Gaza in September 2014, about two weeks after a cease-fire went into effect.

His hometown is about 10 miles to the north.