Who is Abigail Edan? 4-Yearl Old Girl and First US Hostage Released by Hamas

The release was confirmed by the US President Joe Biden

In a significant development under the four-day Gaza truce agreement, Hamas has released the first US hostage, four-year-old Abigail Edan. The release was confirmed by US President Joe Biden shortly after the Israeli army announced the liberation of 17 hostages held by Hamas. Abigail is now safe in Israel, with President Biden acknowledging her release and expressing concern for the trauma she endured.

Abigail Edan

Background: Abigail's Ordeal

Abigail Edan's harrowing ordeal began on October 7 when Hamas terrorists stormed her kibbutz, Kfar Azza, during a surprise assault in Israel. Tragically, her parents were killed in front of her during the attack. The four-year-old managed to seek refuge in a neighbor's home, where Avihai Brodetz and his family provided shelter. Brodetz, who was defending Kfar Azza, discovered days later that Abigail and his own family had been kidnapped.

Ofri, the eldest child in the Brodetz family, marked her 10th birthday in captivity in Gaza, along with Abigail and her younger brothers, eight-year-old Yuval and four-year-old Oria. Abigail, holding dual Israeli-US citizenship, celebrated her fourth birthday in captivity in Gaza.

Release and Gratitude

US President Biden, the Qatari government, and other stakeholders were thanked by two of Abigail's family members on Sunday. They expressed commitment to the "safe and swift return" of all hostages. Hamas has already released a total of 39 hostages within the first three days of the temporary ceasefire. The agreement mandates the release of 50 hostages within four days in exchange for 150 Palestinian security prisoners. Israel confirmed receiving the list of the final 11 hostages scheduled for release.

Prospects of Extension

Amidst these developments, there are indications that Hamas is open to extending the truce. Reports suggest that the group informed mediators of their willingness to prolong it by "two to four days." Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu conveyed to President Biden his offer to extend the ceasefire by an additional day. However, Netanyahu emphasized that Israel would resume its offensive "with all our might" once the truce concludes.

Ongoing Conflict Statistics

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has entered its eighth week, stemming from the October 7 attack by Hamas that claimed 1,200 lives. The health ministry in Gaza reports that over 15,000 people, including thousands of children, have been killed in Israel's strikes thus far.