The repatriation of two Israeli nationals allegedly held in the Gaza Strip is not an issue for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to solve despite Israel’s request for assistance, Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal told Sputnik on Wednesday.
MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked Ban during his visit to Israel to assist in the return of Avera Mengistu and an Arab-Bedouin whose name has not been disclosed, connection with whom was lost in 2014 after they crossed into the Palestinian enclave.
"Prisoners in Gaza that Netanyahu mentioned to Ban Ki-moon… I heard about that, but I think this question is not with Ban Ki-moon to solve it, it’s with other groups, fractions in Gaza," Nofal said.
He added that it was unclear if Ban contacted Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on the issue during his visit to Palestine on Tuesday.
Both Israeli citizens are thought to be held in Gaza by local militant groups, reportedly Hamas, which is outlawed by Israel. The militants are also believed to keep the bodies of two Israeli soldiers who died in 2014.
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