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Israel-Hamas war: 4-year-old American among hostages released in third swap

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - NOVEMBER 25: Thousands of people and the families of hostages participate in the ‘50 Days of Hell’ rally in support of the 212 hostages that are still being held by Hamas, as another 13 Israeli hostages are supposed to be released from Gaza and brought back to Israel, during the second day of the temporary truce, outside The Museum of Modern Art known as the 'The Hostages and Missing Square' on November 25, 2023 in Tel Aviv, Israel. According to event organizers 50,000 people were expected to attend with organized buses from around the country, as well as flights with the displaced families staying in Eilat of hostages from the communities around the Gaza Envelope. 100,000 people turned up according to event organizers.  A total of 50 hostages currently held by Hamas are to be released during a four-day truce with Israel, the first such pause in fighting since Oct. 7, when Hamas launched its surprise attack and Israeli responded with a vast military offensive to destroy the militant group that governs Gaza. Under the deal, 150 Palestinian prisoners are also to be released from Israel, and more humanitarian aid will be admitted at the Gaza-Egypt border crossing. (Photo by Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

Officials say that an American citizen is one of the hostages released Sunday as part of a four-day cease-fire.

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Palestinian prisoners released by Israel

Update 2:52 p.m. EST Nov. 26: Palestinian prisoners released by Israel on Sunday during the third day of a four-day cease-fire, according to The Associated Press. They arrived in the city of Ramallah.

Israel’s Prison Service confirmed that it had released 39 prisoners and detainees from seven Israeli prisons, according to CNN. Of the released were 39 Palestinian teenagers.

Israel’s prime minister’s office releases names of hostages freed Sunday

Update 12:42 p.m. EST Nov. 26: Israel’s prime minister’s office released the names of the freed hostages Sunday on X, formerly known as Twitter, according to CNN.

  • Abigail Edan, 4
  • Hagar Brodutch, 40
  • Ofry Brodutch, 10
  • Yuval Brodutch, 8
  • Oria Brodutch, 4
  • Chen Goldstein Almog, 49
  • Agam Goldstein Almog, 17
  • Gal Goldstein Almog, 11
  • Tal Goldstein Almog, 9
  • Alma Avraham, 84
  • Adrienne (Aviva) Siegel, 62
  • Ela Elyakim, 8
  • Dafna Elyakim, 14

President Biden confirms that 4-year-old American hostage released Sunday

Update 12:02 p.m. EST Nov. 26: President Joe Biden confirmed Sunday that Abigail Edan, 4, was among the hostages released Sunday during the third day of a four-day cease-fire.

The Red Cross has received 17 hostages that included Israelis and foreign nationals, Israeli military officials confirmed, according to CNN.

Biden said there is nothing confirmed yet if and when other Americans could be released.

“Two days ago, one of our fellow Americans, a little girl named Abigail, turned 4 years old. She spent her birthday -- that birthday, and at least 50 days before that -- held hostage by Hamas,” Biden said, according to CNN.

“She’s free and she’s in Israel,” Biden said, according to The Associated Press.

First American hostage released successfully

Update 11:54 a.m. EST Nov. 26: The ages of the hostages ranged from 4 to 84, The Associated Press reported.

Abigail Edan, 4, was among those released, the AP reported. Edan’s parents were killed in the attack on Oct. 7. She was the youngest American hostage, officials said, according to CNN.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said that nine children ages 17 and younger were on the list.

Hamas separately released one Russian hostage “in response to the efforts of Russian President Vladimir Putin,” the AP reported.

Hostages released in third swap

Update 11:24 a.m. EST Nov. 26: Fourteen Israelis and three foreign nationals were released from captivity in Gaza Sunday, Israeli military officials say, according to The Associated Press.

Some of the hostages were handed to Israel directly and some went through Egypt, the AP reported. One of the hostages was airlifted to a hospital in Israel.

A fourth exchange is expected to take place on Monday, which is the last day of the four-day cease-fire.

Original story: An Israeli official told CNN that an American citizen is expected to be on Sunday’s list of hostages to be released. It would be the first time an American hostage would handed over since the truce began on Friday.

Egyptian officials say Hamas is expected to release 13 hostages on Sunday, according to the Wall Street Journal. That list has been shared with Israel.

Chair of the Egyptian State Information Services Diaa Rashwan said they also received a list of 39 Palestinians that Israel is expected to free on Sunday, The Associated Press reported.

White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told “Meet the Press” that the U.S. believes that there is an American hostage that will be released Sunday and is hoping it would be Abigail Edan, 4, the AP reported. Edan’s parents were killed in the attack on Oct. 7.

Sullivan said that President Joe Biden would talk with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later in the day Sunday, the AP said.

On Friday, Biden said that the United States did not know when American citizens would be released as hostages, according to CNN. He said it was his “hope and expectation it’ll be soon.”

Saturday night after a delay, 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals were released, The New York Times reported.

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