The 3-year-old United States citizen being held hostage by Hamas has been identified as Abigail Edan, a family member said.
Elizabeth Hirsh Naftali, the child’s great aunt, says Abigail is the child President Joe Biden was referring to in a recent call with the Emir of Qatar.
The White House did not disclose additional information about the toddler. However, a White House official said the toddler is the youngest American hostage and the only known US minor child currently being held.
Abigail’s father, Roy Edan, was holding her outside their home at Kibbutz Kfar Aza when Hamas terrorists began their attack on October 7, Naftali told CNN.
“Abigail’s siblings saw their mother being killed by Hamas terrorists in their home. They ran out to their father, who was holding Abigail, and he was murdered,” she said, adding that her niece, Smadar Edan — the child’s mother — had also been killed in the attack.
Naftali relayed accounts she heard from the siblings — ages 10 and 6 — as they recalled running back inside their home and locking themselves in a closet for over 12 hours. The children believed their younger sister was dead until the family heard from a witness of the attack, Naftali said.
“Abigail survived the shooting and walked to her neighbors. The neighbors took her in, a husband and wife with three kids. They put her in the bomb shelter,” Naftali said, according to what a witness told the family.
Naftali said the husband was injured while defending the kibbutz and a witness told the family that they saw a terrorist taking the wife and their three children along with Abigail away from the home.
President Biden discussed the war in Gaza and efforts to free hostages with the Emir of Qatar on Sunday.
“The two leaders agreed that all hostages must be released without further delay,” the White House said in a readout from the call.
CNN’s Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.