US family awaits release of 3-year-old girl in Israel-Hamas hostage deal - Hindustan Times
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US family awaits release of 3-year-old girl in Israel-Hamas hostage deal by her 4th birthday

Nov 22, 2023 07:14 PM IST

3-year-old American girl who lost parents in Hamas attack to be reunited with family.

A 3-year-old American girl who lost her parents in a Hamas attack and was taken hostage by the terrorist group is among the 50 hostages who are expected to be freed as part of a deal with Israel. Her family hopes that she will be reunited with them by her birthday on Friday.

Orphan Abigail may be home for her 4th birthday after Israeli-Hamas agreement(From family)
Orphan Abigail may be home for her 4th birthday after Israeli-Hamas agreement(From family)

Abigail Mor Idan was with her father Roy Edan, a photojournalist, and mother Smadar Edan, when they were shot and killed by Hamas in their home in south Israel on Oct. 7. Abigail managed to escape from her father’s bloodied arms and ran to a neighbor’s house, where she was later abducted by Hamas.

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Her aunt Liz Hirsh Naftali, who lives in Los Angeles, told CNN on Tuesday night that the family has been anxiously waiting for news about Abigail for seven weeks.

“The one thing that we all hold on to is that hope now that Abigail comes home, she comes home by Friday,” she said.

“Friday is her 4th birthday. We need to see Abigail come out and then we will be able to believe it.”

She said she hopes that Abigail is being cared for by the woman who was with her when she was kidnapped, along with her three children.

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“And I hope that Abigail is being taken care of and left [alone] and that the deal will follow through and these hostages will be back home with their families in the next couple of days.”

Abigail is one of the three American hostages who are set to be released under the agreement that was reached on Tuesday, which also includes two women.

President Biden said in a statement that he will not rest until all the American hostages are released.

“Today’s deal should bring home additional American hostages, and I will not stop until they are all released,” he said.

A senior administration official also told CNN that the deal is designed to ensure the release of all the hostages.

“We are determined to get everybody home,” the official said.

“The way the deal is structured, it very much incentivizes the release of everybody.”

The deal involves a temporary cease-fire in Gaza and Israel, which will start at 10 a.m. local time on Thursday, according to Egypt’s state-run Qahera TV channel. Egypt mediated the negotiations between Hamas and Israel.

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In exchange for the cease-fire, Hamas agreed to release 50 women and children hostages, while Israel agreed to release a similar number of Palestinian prisoners, who are also women and children.

The cease-fire will provide some relief to Gaza, where more than 11,000 people have been killed by Israeli airstrikes and many more are suffering from the lack of food, water, electricity and medicine.

The senior official told CNN that the cease-fire could be extended if Hamas agrees to release more of the 240 Israeli hostages that it holds.

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