Liat Beinin Atzili: US citizen released among 16 Hamas hostages

A dual US-Israeli national who had been kidnapped in Gaza has been freed in accordance with the terms of a temporary armistice between Hamas and Israel.

On 7 October, Liat Beinin Atzili was forcibly removed from her residence in Kibbutz Nir Oz, located in the southern region of Israel. On Wednesday, she was among the twelve Israeli and four Thai hostages that were released by Hamas.

It is believed that eight additional American citizens remain in captivity.

President Joe Biden of the United States and the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum both confirmed the release of Ms. Atzili.

Following her release, there was speculation that Aviv, the spouse of Ms. Atzili, was also being held captive. However, on Friday, Kibbutz Nir Oz confirmed his death ascertained on October 7. American or Israeli authorities have not yet verified his demise.

Thirty Palestinians detained by Israel were released on Wednesday in accordance with the armistice agreement mediated by Qatar.

Approximately 240 hostages were taken and 1,200 were dead when Hamas launched an assault on Israel on October 7.

Mrs. Atzili, 49 years old, is a student guide at Yad Vashem, Israel's memorial to the victims of the Holocaust, and a teacher at a school near Gaza.

Dani Dayan, chairman of Yad Vashem, and Alex Dancyg, a historian and Holocaust educator and colleague of Mrs. Atzili at Yad Vashem, both advocated for the liberation of over a hundred lingering hostages.

Yehuda Beinin, the father of Ms. Atzili, stated in a November to sources that his daughter described the events of October 7 as "irrational" and that a conversation she had with one of her companions was recorded in the moments leading up to her abduction.

He mentioned that the desperation in her voice regarding the situation around her home was audible.  "That was essentially the last time anyone heard from her," continued Mr. Beinin.

According to a statement from the Israeli security forces, the liberated hostages were accompanied by special forces soldiers back into Israeli territory via Egypt.

The group will undergo medical examinations prior to being transported to hospitals, where they will be reunited with their families. Three women of German-Israeli descent and a minor of Dutch-Israeli descent comprised the group.

Two Russian-Israeli citizens were previously released. Abigail Edan, age four, an additional American detainee, was liberated earlier this week. In late October, Hamas executed Judith and Natalie Raanan, two additional American detainees, on the grounds of "humanitarian considerations."

It is believed that eight additional Americans are in captivity, the White House reported earlier this week. President Biden stated in a statement released on Wednesday that the United States is "determined to secure the release of every individual held captive by Hamas during its October 7th, brutal terrorist attack on Israel."

The sixth day of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza began on Wednesday. Contingent discussions aim to prolong the armistice prior to its scheduled expiration.

Mr. Biden stated that the families of approximately one hundred hostages have been reunited. Moreover, in consideration of this hiatus, the international community has accelerated the transportation of supplementary humanitarian assistance to Gaza, spearheaded by the United States.