Israel, who are the US hostages freed by Hamas

Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie released after 2 weeks

Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Raanan, 18, are the two hostages with American citizenship released by Hamas almost two weeks after the October 7 attack on Israel. Their release was confirmed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Mother and daughter were in Israel to visit some relatives, celebrate a family member’s 85th birthday and celebrate Simchat Torah (or ‘Joy of the Torah’) in the Nahal Oz kibbutz, located just over a kilometer from the border with Gaza, which was attacked by militiamen. After their liberation, the couple was handed over to the International Red Cross. Brigadier General Gal Hirsch and other members of the security forces “then welcomed them at the border of the Gaza Strip.” The two Americans “are heading towards a meeting point at a military base in the center of the country, where their family members are waiting for them”, we read in a note.

Judith and Natali Raanan live in the Evanston, Chicago, Illinois area. The girl had recently graduated from high school and wanted to take a break and visit family abroad, the girl’s uncle, Avi Zamir, said last week, taking part in a community event for the Raanans in Evanston.