Photo provided by Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali

4-Year-Old Israeli American With Arizona Connections Released From Hamas Captors

Last month Hamas abducted 4-year-old Abigail Edan, an American dual citizen. Today she was freed and her release marks the initial successful release of an American hostage since the agreement between Israel and Hamas was formed. Edan was one of seventeen hostages freed on Sunday, according to CNN.

In a speech given from Nantucket, Massachusetts, President Joe Biden shared his joy at Abigail’s release and affirmed that she is being provided with love, care, and necessary assistance. He also expressed his hope that this will mark the beginning of a lasting peace.

The President detailed that the young American girl, who reportedly has an Arizona connection, had endured an awful experience. Her story is a horrific one. The child witnessed her mother’s death and then ran to her father, who sacrificed himself to protect her and was killed in the process.

The Hostage and Missing Families Forum’s spokesperson reported that Abigail had been taken to Schneider Children’s Medical Center, where the other kids held captive had been moved to. Details on her health and condition have not been released.

On Sunday, the White House reported that Biden had a conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The topics of discussion included the current events in Israel and Gaza, and the liberation of captives such as Abigail Edan, which was done by Hamas.

Abigail’s great-aunt and cousin released a statement of gratitude to the Qatari government who cooperated in the release of captives detained by Hamas. Liz Hirsh Naftali and Noa Naftali expressed their relief and gratitude, saying that they had been hoping and praying for this day to come and that Abigail was safe and returning home.

It is anticipated that two missing U.S. women will be among the fifty female and juvenile hostages to be freed during the course of the four-day truce, which is presently in its third day.

No Americans were part of the agreement on either Friday or Saturday. Currently, there are 10 Americans that remain missing.

Friday saw the release of 24 hostages, consisting of 13 Israeli civilians and 11 foreign nationals, and the following day, Saturday, brought about the liberation of an additional 17 captives – 13 Israelis and 4 Thai nationals – as a result of the deal brokered by Hamas and Israel. All 41 foreign nationals freed by Hamas from captivity in Gaza are stated to be in good health, according to medical personnel.

Israel is determined to uncover any and all details it can get from the freed hostages in the coming days, including their whereabouts and whereabouts of others.

Supplying Humanitarian Assistance to Gaza

The delivery of humanitarian aid into Gaza has been an ongoing effort.

Before anything is allowed into the Rafah crossing into Gaza, it is inspected by Israelis to ensure that it is indeed humanitarian goods and not resources that could assist Hamas in its military operations.

The trucks offering aid are taken to United Nations stores and other reliable aid groups which have been checked for trustworthiness. The help is dispensed straight to those in need.

Reportedly, the humanitarian assistance has been effective, as it is reaching those in need and not being misused by Hamas.

On Friday, the UN announced that 137 trucks had unloaded in Gaza with 129,000 liters of fuel and four trucks of gas, constituting the largest convoy of humanitarian aid to arrive in the strip since October 7. The next day, the Rafah crossing saw the entry of 70 trucks carrying food, water, fuel, and medical supplies.