Biden welcomes ‘remarkable’ freed hostage Avigail, aged 4, to the White House

Avigail Idan was captured by Hamas after her parents were murdered at their family home


Special guest: President Biden and Avigail in the Oval Office (Photo: White House)

Joe Biden has welcomed to the White House a “remarkable” Israeli-American child who was abducted by Hamas on October 7.

The US president hosted four-year-old Avigail Idan on Wednesday along with her siblings, cousins and the aunt and uncle who are raising her after her parents were murdered.

President Biden said in a press briefing on Thursday that Avigail had been swinging and playing in the Oval Office.

She is “really good,” he said, adding that her family told him later that she had said, “You know, I love Joe Biden.”

The Idan family – Roi and Smadar, and their three children – were at home in Kibbutz Kfar Aza when Hamas attacked. After their parents were killed, Avigail’s two older siblings hid in a closet for hours before being rescued.

Avigail was found in the kibbutz by her neighbours, who took her in before they were all taken hostage by Hamas. They were released in November.

In a post on X/Twitter, Biden referred to Avigail as “remarkable” and said she is “recovering from unspeakable trauma”.

“Our time together yesterday was a reminder of the work we have in front of us to secure the release of all remaining hostages,” the president wrote.

The White House issued a statement on Thursday in conjunction with the leaders of 17 other countries, including the UK, calling for the “immediate release” of all hostages held by Hamas.

They wrote in their joint statement: “We emphasise that the deal on the table to release the hostages would bring an immediate and prolonged ceasefire in Gaza, that would facilitate a surge of additional necessary humanitarian assistance to be delivered throughout Gaza, and lead to the credible end of hostilities.

"Gazans would be able to return to their homes and their lands with preparations beforehand to ensure shelter and humanitarian provisions.”

Other countries that signed off on the statement included France, Germany, Spain, Canada and Thailand. All the signatories are countries that have citizens being held hostage by Hamas.

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