(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – A four-year-old Israeli-American girl who was kidnapped by Hamas during its 7 October attack in southern Israel was among the 17 hostages released by the group on Sunday.
Avigail Idan was just three at the time she was taken hostage from her home, where her parents were attacked and killed by Hamas gunmen.
She turned four while she was held hostage by Hamas.
Avigail’s family said: “We hoped and prayed today would come.”
“There are no words to express our relief and gratitude that Avigail is safe and coming home,” said Liz Hirsh Naftali, Avigail’s great aunt, and Noa Naftali, her cousin, in a statement.
They also thanked US president Joe Biden, the Qatari government and others who were involved in securing Avigail’s release and called for the remaining hostages to be released.
Earlier, President Biden said Avigail had been through a “terrible trauma”, adding what she “endured is unthinkable”.