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'What she endured was unthinkable': Biden reacts to release of first American hostage - as 17 more released by Hamas
26 November 2023, 15:59 | Updated: 26 November 2023, 23:42
Joe Biden has confirmed that an Israeli-American hostage has been released by Hamas after spending seven weeks in captivity.
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Avigail Idan was released by Hamas this afternoon as part of a truce agreed between Hamas and Israel.
Overall, 14 more Israeli hostages and three foreign nationals have been released by Hamas - the third group to be released in as many days.
It follows "intensive diplomacy", the US President said.
"We continue to press and expect that additional Americans will be released as well," he said.
"We will not stop working until every hostage is returned to their loved ones."
Speaking at a press conference after the third group of hostages was released, Mr Biden said Avigail "spent her birthday... and at least 50 days before that held hostage by Hamas".
"Today she's free, and Jilly and I, together with so many Americans, are praying for the fact that she is going to be alright," he said.
He added that Avigail has been through a "terrible trauma" and that "what she endured is unthinkable".
Three Thai hostages have also been released.
Speaking after the release of more Israeli hostages, Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu said: "We brought back another group of hostages this evening - women and children - and we are moved from the depths of our hearts, the entire nation, when we see this reuniting of families."
Elma Avraham, an 84-year-old woman who was released by Hamas, is being treated in hospital after being neglected.