Hamas releases the two hostages, the American mother and her daughter Judith and Natalie Raanan, as the war with Israel approaches its third week.

Officials announced that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) released two American hostages, a mother and daughter from the Chicago suburbs, on Friday. The two released hostages were identified as Judith and Natalie Ranan, two American-Israeli citizens, according to a spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office.

The group said in a statement that Raanan’s family was taken from Gaza by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and that the Israeli army and security forces met the couple on the country’s border with the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, according to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s spokesman. The office said.

They were transferred to a military base to be reunited with their family members. Late Friday night in Israel, Netanyahu’s office released a photo of Raanan’s family.

Natalie Raanan, in a gray shirt, and her mother, Judith, are seen with Israeli security forces after they were released by Hamas on October 20, 2023.

Government of Israel

“We are very happy and thrilled,” Avi Zamir, Natalie’s uncle, told CBS News.

Zamir thanked President Biden and the State Department for their efforts to release the hostages, and said: “In a moment of joy for us as a family, we still remember and acknowledge that there are still more than 200 hostages and there are still families.” “Whose loved ones are still being held hostage and we will continue the struggle and effort to return them to their homeland safely, every single one of them.”

President Biden spoke by phone with the two former hostages on Friday afternoon.

“Tell them that their government will fully support them as they recover and recover,” Biden said in a message. tweet-Share their call photo. “Jill and I will continue to hold all the families of missing Americans in our hearts.”

The White House said the president spoke earlier in the day with some of their family members.

“Our citizens have endured a horrific ordeal over the past 14 days, and I am thrilled that they will soon be reunited with their families torn apart by fear,” Biden said in a statement.

When he boarded Air Force One on Friday evening at Joint Base Andrews, Biden answered “yes” when one reporter asked And whether he wants Israel to postpone its ground invasion of Gaza until more hostages are freed.

How many American hostages does Hamas have?

In Washington, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said 10 additional Americans were still missing after Hamas carried out a brutal terror attack in southern Israel on October 7. Ignite war.

“We know that some of them are being held hostage by Hamas, along with an estimated 200 other hostages being held in Gaza,” Blinken told reporters. “They include men, women, little boys, little girls and elderly people from many countries. Every one of them must be released.”

Why did Hamas release Judith and Natalie Raanan?

A message posted on Hamas’ Telegram channel said the release was for “humanitarian reasons.”

In response to a question about Hamas’ claim that all civilian hostages could be released if Israeli air strikes stop, Blinken said the hostages should be released unconditionally.

“I will not take anything Hamas says at face value,” Blinken said. “I’m not sure anyone in this room would take seriously or relay anything that ISIS said. The same goes for Hamas. Our position is clear: every hostage must be released and they must be released now.”

According to CBS News ChicagoRaanan’s family was visiting family in Israel, near the Gaza border, in a community called Nahal Oz, a kibbutz that had been attacked by Hamas. Natalie Raanan just graduated From Deerfield High School in the north suburbs of Chicago.

Her uncle, Avi Zamir, told CBS News Chicago that she sent a text message to the family shortly after the bombing began on October 7, saying: “We are all fine, yes indeed. My mother’s room where she was sleeping was bombed.” But we’re fine.” We are now moving to another guest house where there is shelter.”

Judith and Natalie Ranan


Their release comes about two weeks after the start of the war. Israel said so Continuous air strikes Israeli occupation aircraft bombed more Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip on Friday, as it began evacuating a town near its northern border with Lebanon.

Airstrikes stopped Friday in the early afternoon, surprising some people in the Palestinian territories and prompting some to question whether there was a ceasefire, CBS News reports from inside Gaza.

CBS News will air a one-hour special titled “The War Between Israel and Hamas: The World on the Brink” on Friday, October 20 at 10 PM ET on CBS and on CBS News Streaming. Download the CBS News app on your mobile phone or connected TV to watch.

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