The name of the hostage expected to be released has not been revealed. Two American women and four-year-old Abigail Mor Edan are among those being held by Hamas.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said there is ‘reason to believe’ one would be let go on Sunday.
‘Until we see her out safely from Gaza in the hands of the authorities and ultimately in the hands of her family than we won’t be certain,’ Sullivan said, ‘but we have reason to believe one will be released today.’
The terror group has been keeping captives since its October 7 surprise attack on Israel that left more than 1,200 Israelis dead. Over 13,000 Palestinians have been killed in the Israeli counteroffensive.
Edan, an Israeli-American girl, was taken the day the fighting broke out. Scores of other hostages were released Friday and Saturday, but no American have been among those freed to date.
On Friday, President Joe Biden confirmed a little girl named Abigail Mor Edan and two American woman are held hostage by Hamas
Edan, 4, lost her parents in an October 7 Hamas attack on her kibbutz
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said there is ‘reason to believe’ at least one American would be let go during the third release of hostages on Sunday
Edan celebrated her fourth birthday in captivity, just two days ago. She was kidnapped when militants stormed her kibbutz in southern Israel and gunned down her parents Roy Edan, 43, and Smadar Edan, 40.
The girl’s siblings, aged 10 and six, survived after hiding out in the family home.
State Department officials have yet to confirm the names of the other two women believed to be held hostage. A total of 10 Americans are currently unaccounted for.
Appearing on ABC’s ‘This Week,’ Sullivan said two women, one child and seven men were confirmed to have been taken by Hamas.
‘All of these hostages have been through a terrible ordeal, and this is the beginning of a long journey of healing for them,’ President Joe Biden said in an address from Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he was celebrating Thanksgiving.
Earlier that day, the president was briefed multiple times by his national security team on the latest developments regarding the hostage release from Gaza.
‘This morning I’ve been engaged with my team as we begin the first difficult days of implementing this deal,’ Biden said. ‘It’s only a start but so far it’s gone well.’
He noted how the first group of hostages included ‘an elderly woman, a grandmother and mothers with their young children, some under the age of six years old.’
Edan celebrated her fourth birthday in captivity on November 24
Hostages have been released over Friday and Saturday. No Americans have been released
A four-day truce began after 48 days of fighting that claimed thousands of lives. The most recent group to be released included 13 Israelis
Judith and Natalie Raanan, who have dual American-Israeli citizenship, were let go last month
‘All of these hostages have been through a terrible ordeal, and this is the beginning of a long journey of healing for them,’ President Joe Biden said Friday
On Saturday, a disagreement over the delivery of aid to Gaza delayed the release of captives by several hours.
Hamas’ al-Qassam Brigades charged Israel with not adhering to the agreed terms and demanded Israel commit to allowing aid trucks to enter northern Gaza for the first time in over a month.
The UN estimates that 1.7 million of the 2.3 million people living in Gaza have been displaced by the war.
So far, 41 captives have been freed in the first two days of the truce, including several children.
Thirteen Israeli civilians were released along with 11 foreign nationals on Friday. This was followed by another 13 Israelis and four Thai nationals on Saturday.
Two Americans, an Illinois mother and daughter, were released last month. Judith and Natalie Raanan, who have dual American-Israeli citizenship, were kidnapped from Nahal Oz together.
They were handed over to the Red Cross on October 20 before the organization passed them off to Israel.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked his government to accept a deal for Hamas to free hostages in exchange for a multi-day truce.
A U.S. official said the deal would include 50 hostages taken from Israel, mostly women and children, in exchange for 150 Palestinian prisoners.
It took effect Friday, a day later than planned, and saw the adversaries agree to a four-day halt in the fighting. The deal was brokered by Qatar, the U.S. and Egypt.