Innocence Lost

I can imagine that a great many of us SOFREP readers are parents. Can you imagine your young child, at the age of three, being held captive by terrorists? The thought is infuriating and speaks volumes about the kind of people who have started the current war in Israel.

And as a child, can you imagine your loving parents being murdered in front of you by your captors and having to spend your fourth birthday as their hostage? Your siblings managed to escape the initial carnage, but you have no idea whether they are alive or dead. This should not be something anyone has to endure at any age.

In a significant development, four-year-old Abigail Mor Edan, an Israeli-American child, was recently liberated after being held captive by Hamas. This release is part of a more extensive negotiation process involving multiple hostages.
Abigail’s parents tragically lost their lives in a Hamas-led assault in Israel on October 7. During this raid, Abigail, along with approximately 240 others, was abducted and taken to Gaza, and this traumatic seven-week period included her fourth birthday, which she spent in captivity.

Abigail is shown here on November 27th with her aunt and uncle after being reunited at the Schneider Hospital. Image Credit: Times of Israel

Part of a Complex Deal

The possibility of her release was first mentioned by the Qatari Prime Minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, on “Face the Nation.” However, the situation remained uncertain due to its complex nature.
The release of hostages, including Abigail, followed earlier releases as part of an agreement between Israel and Hamas. This deal stipulated the liberation of at least 50 women and children from Gaza and around 150 Palestinian women and teenagers from Israeli prisons. A temporary ceasefire, allowing humanitarian aid and the return of displaced Palestinians to their homes in Gaza, was also part of the agreement.

The ceasefire was initially set for four days, and Israel indicated a willingness to extend it if more hostages were released. On Sunday, 17 hostages were freed, including Abigail. Among these, 14 were Israeli citizens, and three were foreign nationals, though their specific nationalities were not immediately disclosed.

President Biden, in a televised address, confirmed Abigail’s release and detailed the harrowing events she endured, including witnessing the killing of her parents.
Abigail’s great-aunt, Liz Hirsh Naftali, and her cousin, Noa Naftali, expressed immense relief and gratitude for her return, acknowledging the efforts of President Biden and the Qatari government. They remain hopeful for the return of all hostages.

Abigail’s Aunt Thanks the Public for Their Support