Biden meets 4-year-old who was held hostage by Hamas

Hamas says 40 hostages can’t be located

Safety concerns for Gaza aid workers, Israel says Hamas can’t locate 40 hostages 03:02

Washington — President Biden on Wednesday met 4-year-old Abigail Mor Edan, an American girl who was taken hostage by Hamas after both her parents were killed in the group’s Oct. 7 attack. 

The president met with Abigail at the White House, national security adviser Jake Sullivan said. Her parents were killed by militants when she was kidnapped. Her mother was shot in front of her and her father was gunned down using his body to shield her. 

A dual U.S.-Israeli citizen, Abigail turned 4 in captivity. She was held by the Gaza-based militant group for 50 days and was the youngest American hostage to be released.

Sullivan said meeting Abigail was a “reminder in getting to see her that there are still Americans and others being held hostage.”

After the girl’s release in November, her aunt told CBS News the family was overjoyed to have her back, and was surrounding her “with love and care.” Abigail’s siblings, who were 6 and 10 years old at the time of the attack, survived by locking themselves in a closet, according to her family. 

Abigail Edan talks with her aunt Liron and uncle Zuli at Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel in Petah Tikva, Israel, on Nov. 27, 2023.
Abigail Edan talks with her aunt Liron and uncle Zuli at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel in Petah Tikva, Israel, on Nov. 27, 2023. Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel/Handout via REUTERS

The president has called what Abigail endured “unthinkable.” 

“Thank God she’s home,” Mr. Biden told reporters after the little girl was released. “I wish I were there to hold her.”

Hamas — long designated a terrorist group by the U.S. and Israel — released a video Wednesday that appeared to show Hersh Goldberg-Polin, an Israeli-American hostage, delivering a long statement clearly crafted by the group.

There are five unaccounted American hostages who are presumed to be living, according to a U.S. official. All five are male.

Margaret Brennan contributed to this report.

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