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Two hostages released by Hamas: Mother and daughter dual American-Israeli citizens

Judith and Natalie Raanan were transferred to Israel through Egypt

Two American-Israeli hostages, Judith Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan, are with Gal Hirsch after being release by Hamas kidnappers (Photo: EYEPRESS via Reuters)

Two hostages taken by Hamas in the assault on Israeli communities near the Gaza border on Oct.7 were released on Friday evening.

Judith Raanan and her daughter Natalie, dual American-Israeli citizens, were handed over by the terror organization to the International Red Cross, which took them to Egypt and from there to Israel.

They were welcomed at the border around 10 p.m. by the head of the Israeli task force for the hostage situation, Brig.-Gen. (res.) Gal Hirsch, and were escorted to their relatives in an Israeli army base, the Prime Minister's Office confirmed.

“The State of Israel, the IDF, and the entire security establishment will continue to work with all available resources and efforts to locate all the missing individuals and bring all the captives back home,” the PMO added.

“Hamas is presenting itself to the world at this hour as one that releases hostages for humanitarian reasons, but in reality, we are talking about a murderous terror group, which at this hour is holding babies, children, women, and elderly captive,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Daniel Hagari said in a statement on Friday.

He said the IDF would continue its efforts to return all of the hostages home but would also continue preparing for the “next stages of the fighting,” which is expected to last many more weeks, according to his statement.

The Hamas terror organization had announced the release of the two women in a statement on its Telegram channel earlier on Friday evening.

“In response to Qatari efforts, the Al-Qassam Brigades released two American citizens (a mother and her daughter) for humanitarian reasons, and to prove to the American people and the world that the claims made by Biden and his fascist administration are false and baseless.”

U.S. President Joe Biden celebrated the release of the hostages in a statement.

“Our fellow citizens have endured a terrible ordeal these past 14 days, and I am overjoyed that they will soon be reunited with their family, who has been wracked with fear,” Biden said.

“These individuals and their families will have the full support of the United States government as they recover and heal, and we should all respect their privacy in this moment.”

Biden also thanked Qatar and Israel for their partnership. The Qatari Foreign Ministry had said the release of the hostages was the result of “many days” of negotiations.

Judith and Natalie Raanan currently reside in Evanston, Illinois. They visited Israel to celebrate the 85th birthday of Judith's mother in Kibbutz Nahal Oz, where they were captured by Hamas on Oct. 7, the Jerusalem Post reported.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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