US President Joe Biden held an impromptu news conference on Sunday just minutes after 13 hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza reached Israeli territory, to express his relief and joy that four-year-old American Abigail Idan was among them.
The president talked about what little Abigail went through during the October 7 murderous rampage by Hamas in her kibbutz, where first her mother was slaughtered in front of her, and then after running to her father, the terrorists shot and killed him too. When the child then ran to the neighbors, Hamas operatives simply abducted the entire family, and Abigail along with them. She has spent more than 50 days in captivity, along with more than 200 other hostages, some as old as 85, and at least one baby as young as 10 months old.
Biden also said he is hoping the temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel can be extended. “Critically needed aid is going in, and hostages are coming out.”
The president said he is hoping to keep the pause going “beyond tomorrow” to “keep building on these results … so that we can see more hostages come out and surge more humanitarian relief to those in need in Gaza.”
Bottom line: “I would like to see the pause go on as long as we see prisoners keep coming out,” he said.
The president said he planned to speak with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shortly to discuss the issue.
Unconfirmed reports said Sunday night (Israel time) that Hamas also expressed a desire to extend the current pause in fighting; if so, the terror group will have to release a minimum of 10 Israeli hostages each day the temporary ceasefire is in place.
Both Biden and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin have repeatedly expressed support for the operational goals of the Jewish State in its war against Hamas, which include rescue of all the hostages, the eradication of Hamas control over Gaza, and ensuring the enclave will never again be a threat to the State of Israel.
However, Biden also told reporters during the news conference that he is still hoping to reboot talks for the moribund “two state solution” when the war is over.
Such an agreement would constitute an act of suicide for the Jewish State.