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Second Israeli-American hostage released by Hamas, Biden says

President Joe Biden confirmed on Wednesday that a second Israeli-American hostage has been released by Hamas from Gaza.

Biden told reporters that Liat Beinin Atzili, 49, was among the latest group of Hamas-held hostages to be released and was “safe in Egypt just across the border.”

In brief comments before departing from Pueblo, Colorado, Biden added that he had a chance to speak with Liat’s parents.

“They’re very appreciative and things are moving well,” Biden said of his conversation with Liat’s family. “She’ll soon be home with her three children.”

On Sunday, 4-year-old Abigail Edan, a dual Israeli-American citizen whose parents were killed by Hamas terrorists who stormed the kibbutz where the family lived, was freed.

Liat’s husband, Aviv Atzili, remains in captivity in Gaza.

The bond between Liat and Aviv is clear in their photographs.

There’s a tender image of the couple posing under a tree during a recent trip to Oregon in a space both beautiful and green. There is the selfie during the same trip, Aviv’s arm draped across Liat’s shoulders as they both grin at the camera. And one in the shadow of New York, perfect for the pair with wanderlust.

Liat is an Israeli-American teacher who volunteered to give tours at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust remembrance center, certain that she could reach visitors with her positive attitude and flawless English.

Aviv is an artist and mechanic who kept the farm machinery at Kibbutz Nir Oz in tip-top shape and used old equipment as a canvas for his paintings.

Both were taken hostage when Hamas terrorists rampaged through the kibbutz on Oct. 7, a horror that is incomprehensible for friends and family.

“They’re really peace-loving, compassionate people,” said Boaz Atzili, Aviv’s cousin. “A really good example of that is that they adopted this dog who is like a special (needs) dog with three legs, and they gave her like a really warm and nice family.”

The terrorists killed the dog during the attack.

Liat and Aviv, both 49, have been partners ever since they met as youth counselors. After completing their military service, they traveled for three years, visiting India and Australia, where they married. Returning to Israel, they settled at Kibbutz Nir Oz, where they raised three children.

Prior to her release on Wednesday, Liat’s father, Yehuda, said he was trying to remain calm, visiting world leaders and talking to the media so he can keep the names of his daughter and son-in-law in the public eye.

He had said he hoped Liat would hear his words.

“The ultimate greeting that I can pass on to my daughter, are Hebrew words from the Bible,” he said. “What Moses said to Joshua is to be strong and courageous … and if Liat hears this, she knows that this is my ultimate blessing.”

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