Michel Nisenbaum’s family says the president promised to at least seek information about his health. Itamaraty says he is managing the situation

The family of Michel Nisenbaum, 59, the only Brazilian who was kidnapped and who remains in the hands of the extremist group Hamas, in the Gaza Strip, says they are disappointed with President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT).

They had two conversations with the PT member in 2023, after the October 7th attacks: one of them via a digital meeting platform and the other, in person. According to the family, Lula said she would seek information about the Brazilian and try to negotiate his release. After 5 months, they say they were never contacted by the PT member or the embassy again.

My mother and his daughter went to Brazil in December to see Lula, who promised he would do everything to bring him back. And obviously he’s not here. We don’t know anything about Michel. I’m sure Lula has contacts to know something. It’s so hard,” said Michel’s niece, Ayala Harel, 43. Her mother, Mary Shohat, 66, is Michel’s sister. She was also born in Brazil.

Watch the interview with Ayala Harel (4min10s):

The PT does not consider Hamas a terrorist group. When Lula, on a trip to Africa, compared the action of the State of Israel in the war in Gaza to the actions of the Nazis against Jews in the Second World War, the group published a note declaring support for the PT member.

Ayala and Mary are part of ONG call “Bring Them Home Nowcreated the day after the Hamas attack in southern Israel to try to rescue the hostages.

Ayala says that Lula’s silence contrasts with the motto he himself created, on November 14, saying that he was not going to let “no one behind”.

As long as there is a list and the possibility of us removing a person, even if it is just one person from the Gaza Strip, we will be available to send for people. We won’t let any Brazilian stay there”, said the PT member. For Ayala, her uncle stayed behind.

We really had hope after my mother went there in December. She said to me: ‘The plane is waiting for Michel. He [Lula] will do everything to help’. We are in May now. It’s been more than 4 months since my mother went there. We haven’t heard anything from Lula. Anything. We don’t know anything about Michel. Not even if he’s alive or not”, these.

Lula met with Mary Shohat, 66 years old, Michel’s sister, in December. Initially, it was not on his agenda. How the Poder360 showed at the time, the intervention of senator and government leader in the Senate Jaques Wagner (PT-BA) was necessary for Lula to accept receiving them. Wagner is Jewish.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Minister Mauro Vieira has made contact with a series of actors linked to the war process to seek information about Michel. So far, without success. According to the ministry, there were at least 15 contacts with Arabs and multilateral organizations. The ministry confirms that it has not made new contact with the family and says that their commitment is to managing the case.


On October 7, Hamas, an extremist group from the Gaza Strip, invaded Israel, killed 1,200 people and took 234 hostages. Of these, 105 were released in November when a ceasefire agreement was announced.

There is no clarity on the number of hostages alive. In Israel, it is estimated that there are around 40. Among them, there is a 1-year-old baby, Kfir Bibas, and an 86-year-old man, Shlomo Mansour, a Holocaust survivor.

The victims’ families organized themselves from October 8th in a ONGcall “Bring Them Home Now“. The headquarters are in Tel Aviv, central Israel.

War on Rafah

On Monday (May 6) the Israeli war cabinet announced the entry into Rafah. It is the 3rd largest city in the region before the war and the only one, among the largest, that had not registered conflicts until now.

The Israeli government has officially provided few details about the operation. Behind the scenes, the main justification is Hamas’s hesitation in accepting to return hostages. The objective of the operation is to increase pressure on the radical group.

Overnight, Armed Forces ground troops began a precise, intelligence-based counterterrorism operation to eliminate Hamas terrorists and dismantle their nefarious infrastructure in targeted areas of eastern Rafah“, said an excerpt from the note released by the government.

Senior editor Guilherme Waltenberg traveled to Israel at the invitation of businesswoman Alessandra Safra.

Source: https://www.poder360.com.br/internacional/familia-de-brasileiro-sequestrado-pelo-hamas-cobra-lula-nao-ajudou/

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