Two American hostages held since Hamas attack on Israel released: IDF


(WASHINGTON) — The long nightmare in captivity for two of the hostages taken by Hamas during its deadly surprise attack on Israel has ended, Israeli authorities said.

The Israeli Defense Forces confirmed to ABC News that two American women were released by Hamas and are back in Israel.

The women were identified as Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter, Natalie Raanan, 17, the IDF said. Their conditions were not immediately clear.

The Raanans are from Illinois. Ben Raanan, the brother of Natalie Raanan and son of Judith Raanan, said his mom and sister were in Israel for a relative’s birthday when they were taken hostage.

Hamas said in a statement that the hostages, a mother and daughter who are both Americans, were released “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.”

Hamas militants took more than 200 people hostage on Oct. 7 when thousands of its fighters steamrolled through numerous areas of the border fence separating Gaza from Israel. Hamas militants fired thousands of rockets and indiscriminately gunned down soldiers and civilians caught off guard by the early morning rampage.

An undetermined number of hostages are believed to be American citizens.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.