American Among 16 Hostages Released as Israel–Hamas Cease-fire Set to Expire

Web Staff
By Web Staff
November 29, 2023Israel–Hamas War

President Joe Biden said on Wednesday Israeli–American hostage Liat Beinin had been released by Hamas after being abducted during the terrorist group’s attack on Israel on Oct. 7.

President Biden said Ms. Beinin had crossed the Gaza border and was safe in Egypt.

Ms. Beinin was among 16 hostages released on Wednesday by Hamas terrorists on the final day of a two-day extension of a truce in the Gaza war.

Biden said he had spoken to Ms. Beinin’s mother and father. “They’re very appreciative and things are moving well,” he told reporters before boarding Air Force One to return to Washington.

“She’ll soon be home with her three children,” he said.

The Israeli military said a group of 10 Israeli women and children and four Thai nationals had been returned to Israel, where they were being taken to hospitals to be reunited with their families. Earlier, two Russian–Israeli women were freed by Hamas in a separate release. Israel was set to free 30 Palestinian prisoners in return.

Negotiators were working down to the wire to hammer out details for a further extension of the truce beyond its deadline of early Thursday. The talks appear to be growing tougher as most of the women and children held by Hamas are freed, and the terrorists are expected to seek greater releases in return for freeing men and soldiers.

Israel has welcomed the release of dozens of hostages in recent days and says it will maintain the truce if Hamas keeps freeing captives.

Still, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu underscored on Wednesday that Israel will resume its campaign to eliminate Hamas, which has ruled Gaza for 16 years and orchestrated the deadly attack on Israel that triggered the war.

“After this phase of returning our abductees is exhausted, will Israel return to fighting? So my answer is an unequivocal yes,” he said. “There is no way we are not going back to fighting until the end.”

He spoke ahead of a visit to the region by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to press for further extensions of the truce and hostage releases. Mr. Blinken arrived in Israel late Wednesday.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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