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Israeli security official: Israeli citizen held by Hamas in Gaza since September 2014

  • Israeli journalists report outside the apartment building of Ethiopian-Israeli Avraham Mengisto, 28, in the costal city of Ashkelon, Israel, Thursday, July 9, 2015. An Israeli security official said Thursday the Hamas militant group has been holding Mengisto in the Gaza Strip for nearly a year. The Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Mangisto, born in 1986 from the Israeli city of Ashkelon, independently crossed the border fence into the Gaza Strip in September last year, nearly two weeks after the end of the Israel-Gaza war. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

    Israeli journalists report outside the apartment building of Ethiopian-Israeli Avraham Mengisto, 28, in the costal city of Ashkelon, Israel, Thursday, July 9, 2015. An Israeli security official said Thursday the Hamas militant group has been holding Mengisto in the Gaza Strip for nearly a year. The Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Mangisto, born in 1986 from the Israeli city of Ashkelon, independently crossed the border fence into the Gaza Strip in September last year, nearly two weeks after the end of the Israel-Gaza war. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Saturday, June 20, 2015 photo, Israelis rest by the beach near Kibbutz Zikim, on the Israel-Gaza border. Israeli defense officials say two Israeli citizens are being held in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Avraham Mangisto, born in 1986 from the Israeli city of Ashkelon, independently crossed the border fence into the Gaza Strip in September last year, nearly two weeks after the end of the Israel-Gaza war. The defense body said the second Israeli citizen being held in Gaza is an Israeli of a minority background. It provided no further details about the citizen. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

    In this Saturday, June 20, 2015 photo, Israelis rest by the beach near Kibbutz Zikim, on the Israel-Gaza border. Israeli defense officials say two Israeli citizens are being held in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs, said Avraham Mangisto, born in 1986 from the Israeli city of Ashkelon, independently crossed the border fence into the Gaza Strip in September last year, nearly two weeks after the end of the Israel-Gaza war. The defense body said the second Israeli citizen being held in Gaza is an Israeli of a minority background. It provided no further details about the citizen. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)  (The Associated Press)

  • With the Gaza strip in the background, a man reads a book as he sits on the Mediterranean sea beach near Kibbutz Zikim, on the Israel-Gaza border, near where Israeli Avraham Mangisto "independently" crossed the border fence into the Gaza Strip on Sept. 7 last year,  Israel, Thursday, July 9, 2015. Two Israeli citizens are being held in the Gaza Strip, at least one of them by the Hamas militant group, Israeli authorities said Thursday. Avraham Mangisto "independently" crossed the border fence into the Gaza Strip on Sept. 7 last year, nearly two weeks after the end of the Israel-Gaza war, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs said, without giving further details of why he crossed into the Palestinian territory. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

    With the Gaza strip in the background, a man reads a book as he sits on the Mediterranean sea beach near Kibbutz Zikim, on the Israel-Gaza border, near where Israeli Avraham Mangisto "independently" crossed the border fence into the Gaza Strip on Sept. 7 last year, Israel, Thursday, July 9, 2015. Two Israeli citizens are being held in the Gaza Strip, at least one of them by the Hamas militant group, Israeli authorities said Thursday. Avraham Mangisto "independently" crossed the border fence into the Gaza Strip on Sept. 7 last year, nearly two weeks after the end of the Israel-Gaza war, the Israeli defense body responsible for Palestinian civilian affairs said, without giving further details of why he crossed into the Palestinian territory. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)  (The Associated Press)

An Israeli security official says the Hamas militant group has been holding an Israeli citizen in the Gaza Strip for nearly a year.

The official says the Israeli of Ethiopian origin ran past the border fence into the Gaza Strip last September shortly after the end of the Israel-Gaza war and has been held by Hamas since.

The official says it is unclear why he entered Gaza, and that he is believed to be mentally unstable. The official says Israel does not consider the Israeli to be a captive, and that Israel was treating the matter as a humanitarian issue.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.

Hamas declined comment.

Israeli media released details of the matter Thursday.