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Family of freed 4-year-old whose dad was killed holding her speaks out: ‘She still has a love of life’

The great-aunt of Abigail Idan called her "a miracle" and said she has been reunited with her older siblings after their parents were killed in the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas.

The relatives of Abigail Idan, a 4-year-old Israeli American girl who was returned after being taken hostage by Hamas, shared their hopes for her future and an update on her spirits since she was reunited with her family over the weekend.

"You can see in her smile she’s just a sweet girl that as far as we know, still has a love of life," her cousin Noa Naftali told Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on TODAY on Nov. 28.

Abigail was in her father's arms when he was shot and killed by Hamas militants on Oct. 7 during an attack in Kfar Aza kibbutz in Israel. Her mother was also shot and killed as Abigail’s two older siblings hid in a closet at their home, Liz Hirsh Naftali, the girl's great-aunt, told NBC News exclusively earlier this month.

Abigail Adan
Abigail Idan, 4, was released after being the youngest American taken hostage by Hamas during the Oct. 7 attack on Israel.TODAY

The little girl fled to a neighbor's house, where she was ultimately taken hostage by Hamas along with a mother and her three children. Abigail, the youngest American citizen abducted, was returned to her family on Nov. 26 as part of a truce agreement between Israel and Hamas to exchange hostages for Palestinian prisoners being held in jails in Israel.

"First, we’re thrilled that she is released," Liz Hirsch Naftali said on TODAY Tuesday. "Abigail was held hostage with a mother and her three kids, and that was a blessing because she had a woman, a mother, who could hold her and comfort her in the darkness for 50 days."

The girl is now with her aunt and grandmother and has been reunited with her brother, Michael, 10, and sister, Amelia, 6, according to Liz Naftali.

"That was magical in the sense that a brother and a sister who for 50 days waited and hoped that Abigail would come home," Liz Naftali said. "And Abigail, when she saw them, was just elated.

"It's going to be a very slow process, and it's 50 days and having seen her parents murdered, but at least she is now home safe with her family. And we can only pray and hope as the days go on that she will be able to live a good life."

Abigail Adan
Abigail (left) has been reunited with her older siblings, Michael, 10, and Amelia, 6, after the children witnessed the murder of their parents on Oct. 7 by Hamas terrorists.TODAY

Naftali told NBC News' Lester Holt earlier this month that Abigail “crawled out from under her father’s body … full of his blood," after he was shot during the attack. She was then kidnapped with a neighbor and her three children.

Noa Naftali, Abigail's cousin, described her as "sweet and feisty" and said "she likes to boss around her brother and sister, (and) to chase a soccer ball with her brother and her cousins, who are very good soccer players."

Liz Naftali said Abigail and her siblings will be raised by an aunt and uncle.

"My hopes are that she can live a private life where she can be with her family," Liz Naftali said. "I know that they will get lots of love. The grandparents are very involved in her life and what I hope for her is that she will be embraced and she'll go back out and play soccer with her siblings and go back to school.

"She's a miracle and she's the hope for the future."

President Biden also released a statement about the release of the hostages that mentioned the little girl specifically.

"I spoke with Abigail's family following her release, and we are working closely with our Israeli partners to ensure she gets the care and support she needs as she begins to recover from this unspeakable trauma," he said.  

So far, 69 hostages — 51 Israelis and 18 people of other nationalities — have been released by Hamas, according to NBC News. Some 173 Israeli hostages still remain inside Gaza, the Israeli prime minister’s office said Tuesday.