Israeli teen hostage and her pet dog released by Hamas after 50 days
Dubai: A 17-year-old Israeli hostage and her pet dog were released on Tuesday as part of the fifth group of Israeli hostages since Friday when a temporary ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect.
Mia Leimberg was among 12 hostages, including nine women and two Thai workers, who were released under the truce agreement that was approved by the Israeli government and brokered by the US, Qatar and Egypt.
Mia Leimberg is the youngest hostage released on Tuesday. She was taken back to Israel along with her 59-year-old mother Gabriela Leimberg and aunt Clara Marman, 63, who were all abducted from Nir Yitzhak kibbutz.
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At the entrance to the arts school Mia attends in Jerusalem, a banner put up after her abduction read: “Mia, we’re waiting for your return!”
The footage released by Hamas shows the girl holding in her arms white pet dog Bella during the exchange of hostages at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.
Mia Leimberg, known for her singing voice, has studied at the Jerusalem High School of the Arts.
The family dog was taken with the family on Tuesday. Videos on local news outlets Mia carrying her dog as she approached the International Committee of the Red Cross vehicles.
Originally from Jerusalem, the Leimbergs were visiting Marman, Gabriela’s sister, when Nir Yitzhak was attacked on October 7.
Marman’s partner Luis Har and brother Fernando Marman were also taken hostage and remain in Gaza.
The family had taken refuge in the safe room of the house and tried to block the door with a chair, but to no avail.
The family are Argentinian nationals, according to media reports.