4-Year Old American Freed Among 14 Hostages Released By Hamas

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by Tyler Durden
Sunday, Nov 26, 2023 - 07:12 PM

Update(1412ET): For first time since the temporary truce took effect, an American is among hostages released by Hamas. Sunday saw the third round of freed captives. 17 total people are now safely back in Israel — 14 Israelis and three Thai citizens. 

Among them is 4-year old American-Israeli citizen from Kibbutz Kfar Aza, Avigail Idan, whose parents were murdered by Hamas during the Oct.7 terror raids. The girl had turned four while in captivity. President Biden said in a briefing, "She’s free and she’s in Israel." He said he expects more Americans to be freed.

"I’m going to continue working with the Emir of Qatar, President Sisi of Egypt and Prime Minster Netanyahu of Israel to do everything possible to see [that] all the hostages are freed," he said.

Avigail Idan

Israeli media reports that "Although the Red Cross said an initial medical examination indicated they were all in good condition, one of the elderly Israeli hostages was taken straight via helicopter to Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba." In exchange, a third batch of 39 Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons.

Below via TOI, Top L-R: Hagar Brodutch and children Ofri, Yuval and Oriya, Roni Krivoi; middle: Chen Almog Goldstein and her children Agam, Gal and Tal Almog; bottom: Avigail Idan, Elma Avraham, Aviva Siegel, and siblings Ela and Dafna Elyakim.

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Saturday saw the successful release of a second round of Israelis and some foreign hostages, after hours of nerve-racking delay. 13 Israeli hostages were set free and 39 Palestinian women and children were freed from Israeli prisons. An additional four Thai nationals were also freed by Hamas as part of a separate deal negotiated by Egypt, and mediated with Iran and Qatar's help. Among them was a 9-year-old Israeli-Irish girl who had previously been reported to be dead.

A third round exchange is set for Sunday, with the same number: 13 Israeli hostages for 39 Palestinians released from Israeli detention. So far no US nationals have been part of the swaps. But for the first time on Sunday White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said he expects at least one American hostage to be among the 13 to be let go Sunday.

Sullivan made various appearances on the Sunday shows, image source: NBC

"At least one American will be released today. I cannot confirm who it will be, or that it will absolutely happen because until we see that American out of Gaza, in safety and ultimately in the hands of their loved ones, we won’t have full confirmation," he told CBS’s "Face the Nation."

He emphasized this is still subject to verification, with the Israeli military also previously having said, "nothing is final until it actually happens."

Sullivan continued, "And we do have reason to believe that there will be an American release today but let’s wait and see what actually happens. Because of course, we are dealing with a terrorist group here and we can’t immediately trust we have to verify."

He held out hope that the hostage deal could be extended past the initially slated four-day window wherein a total of 50 hostages are to be freed, but he said this is up to Hamas. Israel has vowed that its military will still pursue to total eradication of Hamas as they set out to do.

"I have every confidence that ultimately, all of the Americans and all of the individuals being held hostage will come home we are determined not to rest until that happens," Sullivan said.

"But whether or not this particular deal gets extended, that’s really up to Hamas, because Israel has been very clear as part of the deal, it is prepared to continue the pause in fighting for every day that Hamas produces an additional 10 hostages," he concluded.

Below are the Israeli hostages released Saturday...

Israeli hostages released on November 25, 2023: Top from L-R: Sharon Avigdori and her daughter Noam, siblings Alma and Noam Or; middle: Hila Rotem, Emily Hand, Shiri Weiss and her daughter Noga; bottom: Adi Shoham and children Yahel and Naveh, Maya Regev, and Shoshan Haran. (Photos: Courtesy; combination image: Times of Israel)

Emily Hand, a 9-year-old girl from Kibbutz Be’eri who was reported killed in the Hamas assault on October 7, was then found to be alive and among those held hostage in Gaza. —Times of Israel

The Biden administration has been under increasing pressure to act on behalf of the captured Americans, after what has appeared to be inaction.

The Pentagon has special forces operators in Israel in an advisory capacity, while US officials have been in Doha and Tel Aviv as well. But the White House has largely appeared to be on the sidelines, other than its pumping large amounts of military hardware to the Israelis.