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Biden meets 4-year-old Abigail Edan, an American who was held hostage by Hamas

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden met Wednesday with Abigail Edan, the 4-year-old American girl who was held hostage in Gaza for several weeks at the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan said the White House meeting with Abigail and her family was “a reminder of the work still to do” to win the release of dozens of people who were taken captive by Hamas terrorists in an Oct. 7 attack on Israel and are still believed to be in captivity in Gaza.

Abigail, who has dual Israeli-U.S. citizenship, was taken hostage after her parents were killed in the attack and was released nearly seven weeks later. She was the first U.S. hostage freed by Hamas terrorists as part of a deal with Israel to exchange hostages for Palestinian prisoners early in the war. Abigail turned four during her time in captivity.

“It was also a reminder in getting to see her that there are still Americans and others being held hostage by Hamas,” said Sullivan, who attended Biden’s meeting with the girl and her family. “And we’re working day in, day out to ensure all of them also are able to get safely home to their loved ones. “

Israel says the terrorists are still holding around 100 hostages and the remains of more than 30 others.

Biden spoke to the girl soon after her release in November. Thursday’s meeting was one of mixed emotions for the president.

“Abigail and her two siblings had their parents killed on October 7th, so they’re still living with the tragedy and the trauma of that. Abigail, of course, is living with the trauma of being held captive for many weeks,” Sullivan said. “But this was a moment of joy as well, because she was able to be returned safely to her family. “

Biden’s meeting with Abigail came as Hamas terrorists on Wednesday released a recorded video of an Israeli American still being held by the group.

The video was the first sign of life of Hersh Goldberg-Polin since the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on southern Israel. It was not clear when the video was taken.

Sullivan said U.S. law enforcement officials are assessing the video but declined further comment.

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