(photo credit: Courtesy)
The defense establishment does not have any information on whether Avera Mengistu, the Israeli citizen that crossed the border into Israel ten months ago, is alive or dead, a senior official in the IDF General Staff told reporters in a briefing on Monday.
"There is contradictory and partial information on whether he's alive, the source said.
Discussing the possibility of a prisoner swap, the source said, "I differentiate between a soldier and a citizen."
He said that Israel must not "play into the hands of Hamas, which behaves cynically."
In addition to Mengistu, a Beduin youth also crossed the border into Gaza
several months ago. The defense establishment is also unaware of his fate.
Hamas is also holding the bodies of two IDF soldiers
, Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin, who were killed in Gaza during last summer's Operation Protective Edge.