Adrienne “Aviva” Siegel, an American citizen with ties to North Carolina is among seventeen more hostages released by the militant group Hamas on Sunday. The announcement came from Senator Ted Budd, R-NC, who played a role in negotiating her release. Siegel’s husband, Chapel Hill native Keith Seigel, 64, remains a hostage in Gaza.
This is the third group of hostages released after a four-day ceasefire negotiated between the terror group Hamas and Israel. The Siegels are humanitarian workers living in Kfar Aza, a kibbutz hit particularly hard in the brutal Hamas attacks on October 7, 2023.
They are part of a small group of North Carolina expatriates living in Israel. They were abducted by Hamas, and their captivity raised concerns internationally, with various diplomatic efforts underway to secure her release, among them work from Budd’s office.
Earlier in November, Budd met with Qatari Ambassador Meshal Al Thani in Senator Budd’s Washington, D.C. office, and strongly urged his government to use their leverage on Hamas leaders and hold those same Hamas leaders accountable once the hostage situation is fully resolved.
“We are pleased that some hostages have been released and are now home with their loved ones,” said Budd in a statement Sunday. “We remain steadfast in our commitment to secure that freedom for North Carolina native Keith Siegel, Omer Neutra, and all hostages illegally held by Hamas terrorists. While we are encouraged by the government of Qatar’s efforts to mediate the release of some of the hostages, we renew our call to their government to exert pressure on Hamas leadership to release each and every hostage immediately and unconditionally.”
Also among the hostages released on Sunday was four-year-old American Avigail Mor Idan whose parents were murdered in front of her by Hamas terrorists.
The release is part of a brokered ceasefire agreement for Hamas to release fifty hostages of the 200 believed to have been captured in October. So far, 41 have been released with 24 released on Friday and 17 on Sunday. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s office reports that nine children were on the list of to be released.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to remove a quote incorrectly attributed to Sen. Ted Budd, R-NC.