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Israel exerting ‘secret and public’ efforts to return soldiers lost in Gaza

Israeli soldiers gather before starting a patrol in the West Bank city of Hebron.
File photo of Israeli occupation forces.

The Israeli government announced on Saturday that it has been exerting “secret and public efforts to identify the fate of missing soldiers in Gaza”, Quds Press reported.

The remarks follow a protest organised by the family of missing Israeli soldier Avraham Mangisto on Sunday in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Protesters called for Mangisto’s release in the Israeli-Turkish reconciliation deal.

In a statement, Netanyahu’s office said that Israel would not stop its efforts until the return of these soldiers, but their families insist that he has failed because he had promised to make their return part of the Israeli-Turkish reconciliation.

The families of three soldiers announced they would organise public activities to call for the Israeli government to not sign the agreement with Turkey because it does not include the return of their sons.

“We have been deceived. It is inconceivable that Israel will sign this agreement while my brother is still being held prisoner,” Ilan Mengistu, brother of Avraham Mangisto, told Israel’s Channel 2.

“We put our trust in the Israeli government and Knesset to do their job faithfully,” he said. “Given the upcoming deal with Turkey, we feel as though we’ve been fooled.”

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