39 Palestinian teenagers released from Israeli prisons on third day of Israel-Hamas truce
US President Joe Biden welcomed the release of 4-year-old American-Israeli citizen Abigail Edan, who is now free after some 50 days held hostage in Gaza.
“Two days ago, one of our fellow Americans, a little girl named Abigail, turned 4 years old. She spent her birthday — that birthday, and at least 50 days before that — held hostage by Hamas,” Biden said in remarks from Nantucket, Massachusetts.
“Today she’s free, and Jill and I — together with so many Americans — are praying for the fact that she is going to be alright,” he continued, referring to first lady Jill Biden.
Having arrived in Israel, Biden said Edan is receiving love, care and “the supportive services she needs.”
Biden said the 4-year-old girl “has been through a terrible trauma.” Her mother, he said, was killed in front of her. She then ran to her father, Biden said, who used his body to shield his daughter and was also killed.
“What she endured was unthinkable,” he said.
He did not have details on Edan’s condition.
“She is safely ensconced in Israel, but there’s a lot more work to be done,” he said.
Biden added that he was “hopeful this is not the end” of the temporary truce.
Remember: Israel and Hamas reached a deal last week for a four-day pause in fighting and the release of at least 50 women and children held hostage in Gaza.
The deal involved hostages who were held captive by Hamas being released in exchange for a number of Palestinian women and children in Israeli jails. The truce, meanwhile, also allowed the entry of “a larger number of humanitarian convoys and relief aid.” The first release of hostages and prisoners took place on Friday, with others taking place Saturday and Sunday.