US president’s top aide says sit-down with Israeli-American and her family ‘a reminder of the work still to do’ to free the remaining hostages

File – Avigail Idan is reunited with her aunt Liron, uncle Zuli and grandparents Shlomit and Eitan at the Schneider children’s hospital on November 27, 2023. (Schneider Medical Center)

US President Joe Biden met Wednesday with 4-year-old Israeli-American Avigail Idan, who was released as part of a week-long truce agreement in late November.

White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said the White House meeting with Avigail and her family was “a reminder of the work still to do” to win the release of the remaining hostages taken captive in the Hamas-led October 7 terror onslaught against Israel.

“It was also a reminder that there are still Americans and others being held hostage by Hamas, and we’re working day in and day out to ensure all of them also are able to get safely home to their loved ones,” said Sullivan at a White House press conference.

“I was just sitting with the president of the United States going through all of the Americans being held hostage and what we can do about them,” he added.

Both of Avigail’s parents were murdered by terrorists who infiltrated Kibbutz Kfar Aza during the October 7 massacre in southern Israel. She was taken captive while hiding in her neighbor’s home.

Avigail, who turned four during her time in captivity, was released weeks later as part of a hostages-for-truce deal brokered by Qatar, Egypt and the US, that also included the release of Palestinian prisoners.

Biden spoke to the girl soon after her release in November. Wednesday’s meeting was one of mixed emotions for the president.

“Avigail and her two siblings had their parents killed on October 7th, so they’re still living with the tragedy and the trauma of that. Avigail, of course, is living with the trauma of being held captive for many weeks,” Sullivan said. “But this was a moment of joy as well, because she was able to be returned safely to her family. ”

Avigail Idan, 4, who was released from Hamas captivity in Gaza on November 26, 2023, having been taken hostage on October 7. Both her parents were murdered by the terrorists. (Courtesy)

At the press conference, Sullivan also commented on the video that Hamas released Wednesday of another Israeli-American hostage, Hersh Goldberg-Polin.

“This is an innocent young man being held hostage by a terrorist organization and he should be released immediately without condition and without delay,” Sullivan said.

The video was the first sign of life of Hersh Goldberg-Polin since Hamas’s October 7 attack, which sparked the ongoing war in Gaza. It was not clear when the video was taken.

As reported by The Times of Israel