Four-Year-Old American Among Latest Hostages Released
A four-year-old American girl was among the third group of hostages released on Sunday by Hamas; the White House has confirmed.
Abigail Mor Edan was the youngest American held by Hamas and was one of the 17 hostages released on Sunday – 14 of which were Israeli citizens, including Abigail who holds joint Israel-American citizenship.
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She was also the first American to be released, with Mr Biden hopeful to “see the pause [ceasefire] go on as long as prisoners are getting released”.
“She’s free and she’s in Israel now,” US president Joe Biden said following Abigail’s release.
“What she endured is unthinkable.”
Mr Biden’s comment referred to Abigail’s parents – her mother killed in front of her, while her father then gunned down after using his body to protect his daughter.
In return on the third day, 39 Palestinian prisoners, all young men, were released.
The fourth exchange is expected to happen on Monday – the last initial agreed day of the ceasefire.
In total 50 hostages and 150 Palestinian prisoners will have been freed – most being women and minors.
For the first time, Hamas said it would consider extending the deal by looking to release a larger number of hostages.
Israeli army’s chief spokesman, Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, also said it was open to extending the ceasefire if more hostages were released.
Israel said it would extend the truce by an extra day for every additional 10 hostages released, but vowed its attack would resume once the truce ended.
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