The wife of the prime minister's representative for prisoners and missing persons, retired Colonel Lior Lotan, has taken to Facebook to defend her husband on Friday.
Lotan was caught on tape threatening family members of missing Israeli Avraham (Avera) Mengistu to try and prevent them from criticizing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
"You were a tough commander who explained what the right conditions for the success of the mission were at the moment," Shlomit Lotan wrote. "We know the truth and the full story, and Avera's family knows the truth."
Shlomit has accused Channel 10, which first broke the story, of "lynching" Lotan.
Lotan's meetings with the Mengistu family were also at the expense of his free time, she said.
"This means that every time he went to visit the families to keep them informed of intelligence information in his possession, the last update on the operation, and efforts actually occurring to redeem captives, he traveled throughout the country, instead of being at home," she said.
"Last year, he worked two full-time jobs with complete devotion to both," she added. "The role of coordinator he sees as his mission and the whole family supports it."
"So when he traveled dozens of times to families throughout the year, in the evenings and at night, instead of coming home and being with the children, I supported him," she said. "When the children ask where their father is, I do not hesitate to say that he was working his second, most important and holiest job."
Lotan was heard making threats to the Mengistu family in a recording from Wednesday – hours before it was cleared for publication that Mengistu was kidnapped by Hamas.
During the conversation, the envoy was heard telling the family that if any attempt was made to connect his fate with recent tensions between the Ethiopian community and the government, it would “cause him to stay in Gaza for another year.”
“You have two options: You can point the finger at Hamas and say, ‘You are holding Avera, you are responsible for his fate, give him back to us and we want to know he is alive,’” Lotan was heard telling the family members. “Or you can point the finger at Jerusalem and say, ‘You’re not okay. You let him cross the border [into Gaza]. You never responded to our letters.'”
Netanyahu demanded a public apology for Lotan, who acquiesced shortly after the scandal broke Thursday night.