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A family dog accompanies 12 hostages returned from Gaza on Tuesday

17-year-old Mia Leimberg carried her family dog Bella with her when she was released from captivity in Gaza on Tuesday.
Posted at 6:53 PM, Nov 28, 2023

Among the hostages released on Tuesday were 59-year-old Gabriela Leimberg, her 17-year-old daughter Mia Leimberg and their family dog Bella. They and eight other Israeli hostages, as well as two foreign national hostages, were released in an agreed prisoner exchange with Israel five days into a temporary cease-fire.

Footage captured by The Associated Press on Tuesday showed Mia Leimberg walking next to Hamas militants while carrying Bella in her arms, before she climbed into a Red Cross vehicle.

Hamas releases 12 hostages as truce with Israel holds
A mini-bus carrying Israeli hostages released by Hamas.

Hamas releases 12 hostages as truce with Israel holds

Ten Israelis and two foreign nationals were handed over to the International Red Cross, which took them back to Israel.


Mia is a 12th-grade student at an arts high school in Jerusalem. She works at a bookshop. Her mother Gabriela immigrated to Jerusalem from Argentina in the 1990s. She is a social psychologist who runs a support center for adults with autism on Kibbutz Ramat Rachel in Jerusalem.

Bella the Shih Tzu is the family dog, who had gone with the family to Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak.

The Times of Israel reported Gabriela's husband and Mia's father Moshe Leimberg had been searching for Bella, believing the dog had survived the Oct. 7 attacks and might have been placed for adoption. Apparently, the dog was actually taken along with Mia and other family members.

Gaza is becoming one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters
Palestinians sell clothes in front of their destroyed store on the main road in Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip

Gaza is becoming one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters

With nearly the entire population of Gaza forced out of their homes, the needs of civilians in the region are only expected to grow.


The agreement between Israel and Hamas, which includes a pause in fighting, will allow for more hostages to be released by Hamas in exchange for more Palestinian prisoners set free from Israel. On Tuesday, Israel released 30 Palestinian prisoners.

The deal has also carved out stipulations to allow truckloads of desperately needed humanitarian aid to get into Gaza.