update deskIsrael at War

Biden meets freed Israeli-American captive at White House

"Liat Beinin Atzili is a survivor," said the president, who vowed that "my work isn't done until we secure the release of all remaining hostages."

U.S. President Joe Biden meets at the White House with former Israeli-American hostage Liat Beinin Atzili, on July 8, 2024. Credit: Twitter/@POTUS.
U.S. President Joe Biden meets at the White House with former Israeli-American hostage Liat Beinin Atzili, on July 8, 2024. Credit: Twitter/@POTUS.

U.S. President Joe Biden met on Monday evening with former Israeli-American Hamas hostage Liat Beinin Atzili, who was released in November as part of a ceasefire agreement between Jerusalem and Hamas.

Her husband Aviv, a member of Nir Oz’s emergency response team, was killed on Oct. 7 while fending off terrorists.

“Liat Beinin Atzili is a survivor. It was my honor to welcome her to the White House this evening, hear firsthand about her resilience despite enduring the unthinkable, and promise her that my work isn’t done until we secure the release of all remaining hostages held by Hamas,” tweeted Biden after the meeting.

After Beinin Atzili’s release, Biden stated that he and his wife Jill Biden were “deeply gratified” that the high school teacher and Yad Vashem guide had returned home.

“We remain determined to secure the release of every person taken hostage by Hamas during its brutal terrorist assault on Israel on Oct. 7,” said Biden.

American, Qatari and Egyptian mediators are currently working to revive the phased ceasefire outline presented by Biden in May, which calls in its first stage for a “full and complete” six-week truce during which dozens of Israeli hostages—women, the elderly and the sick—would be exchanged for hundreds of Palestinian terrorists.

In April, Beinin Atzili and hostages’ relatives gathered in Kibbutz Nir Oz for a mock seder to demand the return of their loved ones ahead of Passover, which commemorates the biblical exodus from Egypt and the Jewish people’s deliverance from bondage.

“We are today at Kibbutz Nir Oz, my home. I will not list again the verbs describing what happened here—it is a terrifying list. Given our ordeal, it is my right to demand that anyone with a shred of morality join our call to return all the hostages without conditions,” said Beinin Atzili at the time.

Also in April, Biden hosted in the Oval Office freed Israeli child hostage Abigail Edan, who was released from Gaza on Nov. 26 on the third day of the ceasefire.

“Last year, we secured the release of Abigail, a 4-year-old who was being held by Hamas. She’s remarkable and recovering from unspeakable trauma,” Biden tweeted at the time.

“Our time together yesterday was a reminder of the work we have in front of us to secure the release of all remaining hostages,” he added.

A White House official was reported as saying that during the meeting, the president “simply let her play like any 4-year-old. She played in the Oval Office and crawled under the table with the famous picture of Kennedy as a child.”

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