Tanzanian students taken hostage by Hamas in Gaza named
Israel’s foreign ministry said on X that Joshua Loitu Mollel and Clemence Felix Mtenga were in Israel for an agricultural internship program.
“They are being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas terrorists,” the statement said.
The father of Mr Mollel expressed hope that his eldest son would return home safely.
Both families have been assured that Tanzania’s ambassador to Israel is working with Israel to secure their release.
The Tanzanian authorities have not publicly commented on the seizure of their citizens.
Before it was confirmed that his son, 21, had been taken hostage, Mr Mollel told the he couldn’t sleep or eat because he was desperate to learn what happened.
“People ask me why I’m losing so much weight,” he said last week.
Mr Mollel spoke to his son last on Thursday 5 October, two days before Hamas gunmen attacked Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where he studied.
In his last words, he said, “Be on your best behavior because you’re somewhere new, and make the most of your internship.”
Despite their fears, they remained hopeful that they would be rescued by Mr Mtenga.
According to the family, Mr Mtenge’s roommate, who managed to avoid capture by Hamas, keeps them updated on Israel’s situation.
In one message, they told the 22-year-old: “He should be courageous where he is, know that we love him, and pray for him day and night, hoping he will return soon.”