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American woman among the hostages released on sixth day of Israel-Hamas cease-fire, Biden confirms

More hostages freed, but cease-fire deadline nears
More Hamas-held hostages released, but cease-fire deadline nears 03:48

An American citizen was among the latest group of hostages released by Hamas Wednesday, President Biden and officials from Israel and Qatar confirmed. Liat Beinin was one of a total of 16 hostages freed on the sixth day of the temporary cease-fire between Israel and the militant group that governs Gaza.

"I've got some very good news to report. Liat Beinin is safe in Egypt, she's crossed the border," Mr. Biden said in brief remarks Wednesday afternoon. "I talked with her mother and father, they're very appreciative, and, uh, things are moving well. She'll soon be home with her three children. That's all I have to say for right now." The Israeli government listed her name as Liat Binin Atzili, age 49.

"I am incredibly relieved and grateful that my daughter is alive and will soon be returned to her family," her father, Yehuda Beinin, said in a statement. "Although I am overjoyed that she will be reunited with us, I remain committed to the mission of bringing my son-in-law, Aviv, home as well." He thanked President Biden for helping secure the release of the hostages, and added, "We must keep working to bring all of the hostages home."

Beinin was part of a group of 10 Israeli and dual-citizen hostages released Wednesday, along with four Thai citizens, according to statements from the Israeli military and the Qatari foreign ministry. 

"A short while ago, Red Cross representatives transferred the 10 Israeli and 4 Thai national released hostages to Egypt. The released hostages are currently making their way to Israel through Egypt to the meeting point with our soldiers," the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. It later confirmed they were back inside Israeli territory, where they would be taken to hospitals to be reunited with their families.

The 10 included five minors and five women, including a minor with Dutch-Israeli nationality and three women with German-Israeli nationality, said the Qatari foreign ministry spokesperson.

Earlier in the day, two other Israeli-Russian hostages were transferred to the Red Cross and later arrived in Israel, the Israeli military said.

Supporters welcome Israeli hostages as they arrive in a vehicle at Ofakim army base in southern Israel, early on Nov. 30, 2023, after being freed by Hamas in the Gaza Strip. MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images

"We're glad to inform that 16 people who were being held hostage in Gaza have just been released, with facilitation from the ICRC.Our teams have transferred them and handed them over to the Israeli authorities," the International Committee of the Red Cross said.

Another 30 Palestinians were released from Israeli prisons Wednesday, including 16 minors and 14 women, Qatar said.

Wednesday could be the final day of the humanitarian pause in fighting that started Friday and has coincided with the release of about 100 hostages taken by Hamas in the militant group's Oct. 7 attack on Israel. Some 210 Palestinians have been released from Israeli prisons in return.

Talks, however, were being held in Doha to try to extend the pause even further, after both Israel and Hamas indicated they would be open to another deal. Under the current arrangement, three Palestinian prisoners are being released in the West Bank for every one hostage freed. The hostages released so far have only been women and children, but it is possible that men could be included in a future deal.

Qatari, Egyptian and U.S. mediators have been meeting in Doha to help negotiate a continued pause in hostilities and release of the hostages.

Currently, Qatar is "focused on the mission at hand, which is the next 24 or 48 hours, expanding the truce and hopefully moving into a full suspension of violence in Gaza," Nawaf Al-Thani, the former Qatari defense attaché to the United States and the former director of Qatari Defense Operations, told CBS News on Wednesday.

In the longer term, he said Qatar would like to help negotiate a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"It's not an immediate focus, but it's something they would like to see after things cool down and fighting ends... A viable, secure state of Israel next to a viable, secure Palestinian state."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday that after the hostages are returned by Hamas, Israel's operations in Gaza would resume.

"In recent days, I have heard a question: After completing this stage of the return of our hostages, will Israel go back to the fighting? My answer is an unequivocal yes," Netanyahu said in a statement. "There is no situation in which we do not go back to fighting until the end."

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