Hamas Releases Kidnapped Mother and Daughter from Illinois After 13 Days

On Friday, Hamas declared that it had freed Judith Tai Raanan, a US citizen, and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan for “humanitarian reasons.”

Authorities have recently posted a photo of the two being returned to Israel.

Sec. of State Anthony Blinken was unable to verify additional information about the remaining ten captives.

This is the amazing moment a mother and daughter from Illinois returned to Israel without incident after being taken hostage for 13 days by Hamas.

The Israeli Government verified that Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan returned to Israel late on Friday.

Authorities in the region also shared a photo of the two being brought back across into Israel while being flanked by armed soldiers.

Anthony Blinken claims that even after the terror group freed the mother and daughter it had kidnapped, there is still a worry that Hamas is holding ten Americans captive.

At a news conference on Friday about the release of Judith and Natalie Raanan, the Secretary of State disclosed the number of people who are still missing.

Regarding the’status or condition’ of the Americans thought to be in Hamas captivity after the terror strikes on October 7, Blinken stated he had no more information to provide.

In addition, he declined to provide any more details regarding the Raanans’ post-transfer situation.

Blinken said to reporters, “We are happy that the Raanans are out.”

We all experience a sense of relief for their loved ones, friends, and families.

However, 10 more Americans are still missing from this fight; some of them are being held captive by Hamas in Gaza, along with an estimated 200 other captives.

Men, women, young boys, young girls, and individuals from various countries are among them.

They ought to be freed, all of them.

The names of Judith and Natalie Raanan, a Chicago mother and daughter who were abducted while celebrating a relative’s birthday in Israel, were first made public by The Daily Mail.

The release was announced by Hamas spokesman Abu Ubaida on Friday, nearly two weeks after the militant group kidnapped 200 people during an attack on October 7 that resulted in the deaths of 1,400 Israelis, the majority of them civilians.

At an Egyptian border crossing in the Gaza Strip, Judith and Natalie were turned over to the Red Cross.

They are currently travelling to a military facility in the country’s centre, where their family is waiting for them.

In a statement, President Biden expressed his sympathy for the Raanans’ ‘sad ordeal’ and said that his government had’secured the release’ of them.

He went on to say that he was “overjoyed” about the women’s release and that he would keep trying to free other Americans who had been taken prisoner.

One of MSNBC’s longtime Middle East correspondents, Martin Fletcher, sobbed on air earlier this week when he revealed that Judith and Natalie Raanan, the captives, are relatives of his wife.

“The terrorists from Hamas were dragging them away when they were last seen, their hands bound.”

As a result, it’s genuine, intimate, and nobody truly believes that they can be brought back to life.

Everyone is obviously hopeful,’ Fletcher said to Stephanie Ruhle on Thursday.

Fletcher stated, “Hamas is using the hostages for psychological warfare,” while crying.

He called the disagreement a “very personal thing.”

He said gravely, “Nobody is really confident that it’s possible to get them back alive.”

The mother and daughter were freed “for humanitarian reasons,” according to Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Hamas’ military branch, the Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, in response to efforts by Qatar to mediate.

The move, according to Abu Ubaida’s belligerent statement, will ‘show to the American people and the world that the charges made by (President Joe) Biden and his fascist administration are untrue and unjustified.’

Israel stated it would take action to liberate the captives while eliminating the terror group in response to the Hamas slaughter and hostage crisis.

Israel pounded Gaza with airstrikes, killing around 4,000 Palestinians, according to Hamas.

Calling on Palestinians to leave Gaza’s northern region, where it claims Hamas is entrenched, Israeli tanks and troops have gathered close to the enclave’s edge in anticipation of a ground invasion.

Additionally, Israel has stated that unless Israeli hostages are released, its complete blockade of the enclave would remain in place.

About 200 captives are reportedly held by Hamas, with an additional 50 being held by other armed organisations within the enclave.

The group has not provided any additional information, but it alleged that Israeli airstrikes have murdered over 20 hostages.

Judith and Natalie Raanan, a mother and daughter team from Chicago, were kidnapped while on a visit to Israel.

Natalie Raanan, 17, is an ordinary 17-year-old who enjoys painting, beauty, fashion, and DoorDash.

Her brother, Ben Raanan, told The Associated Press last week that Natalie “hates eating at home.”

This year, she completed her high school education in the Chicago suburbs, and her brother, who is 34 and resides in Denver, said she is approaching her birthday.

Prior to departing for her mother, Judith Raanan, to spend her grandmother’s 85th birthday and the Jewish holidays in Israel, the teenager was debating between pursuing an apprenticeship at a tattoo parlour and attending college to study interior or fashion design.

Their rabbi, Meir Hecht, stated that the couple was having “this really special mum and daughter time together” and that they had been providing updates as the vacation developed.

However, since Hamas carried out an extraordinary surprise strike, the family had not heard from either the mother or the girl.

Natalie’s elder brother, Ben Raanan, described her as “just a very loving, kind person.”

Even though their middle brother Adam is considerably older than Natalie and nonverbal, he clarified that Natalie makes it a point to keep a close relationship with him.

Ben Raanan, speaking before word of Friday’s release, said the family has been in contact with both Israeli and U.S. government officials, who have verified that Natalie and Judith are alive and being held captive by Hamas.

“This entire circumstance seems unreal,” he remarked.

Our family lives in great harmony.

We in no way support the use of violence against anyone in this planet.

Yehudis Hecht, Judith Raanan’s friend and the rabbi’s wife, stated that Judith Raanan is quite involved in her religion community, Chabad of Evanston.

Yehudis Hecht stated that Judith helped prepare the Kiddush lunch practically every week and that she dropped over a pink prayer book for the Hechts’ seven-year-old daughter, who adores the colour pink, before leaving for Israel.

In the days following the Hamas attack, a small group of community members came together to pray for the safe return of the Raanans.

They will be thrilled to hear of their safe release.

Judith, you’re on our minds.

Regarding your fortitude, optimism, affection, kindness, faith, and fortitude.

Yehudis Hecht remarked at the occasion, “We know you’re a strong woman and we pray that we see you safely very soon with your dear Natalie.”

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