The daughter of an Israeli Jewish man who disappeared in Yemen three months ago has broken her silence to speak of her fears for her father's life, and of her family's sense of abandonment by authorities.
The woman, identified as "A" (the family wishes not to disclose their identity at this point so as not to further endanger their father), recounted her family's ordeal to Kol Hai haredi radio station Tuesday morning.
"We have no updates, there is no information… When he traveled to the country where he was born – it's an Arab country – there were two weeks without any contact with him, and so I turned to a family there who told me he never arrived.
"I began to turn to various officials, as well as the foreign ministry… they said that they have no contact with him.
"A month, two months passed and I saw that we are already entering into the fourth month from when he disappeared and we (still) don't know his fate, and we were just sitting at home."
A., who like her father is a resident of Ashkelon, lamented the lack of support her family has received from the Israeli foreign ministry, and claimed they had even demanded payment in return for their help.
"I turned to them three or four times and they said that they don't have relations with (Yemen) but that they have a particular source via whom they could possibly work something out – but it would cost money.
"I told them that money-wise… it is very difficult for us, financially. During these three months we had to leave our jobs, my sister and I. It is tough for us, we don't sleep at night, it is difficult for us to function, it is not an easy situation for us…"
She said that apart from the contacts at the foreign ministry they had received no help whatsoever from any government agencies.
"Apart from the foreign ministry who I turned to, and yesterday I turned to the media… (we're) alone, no one is helping us or giving us support."
Her father had been arrested by authorities in Yemen during a previous visit, but had escaped unharmed from that ordeal. However, A. said there are real fears for his life given his Jewish identity in the lawless country, where large parts are controlled by anti-Semitic militias and terrorist groups such as the pro-Iranian Houthi rebels and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).
"I think it's because he is a Jew – he had an Israel ID on him," she said.
"The only thing I want is to hear that he is OK, that he is healthy and in one piece and that nothing had happened to him.