Hamas Releases Two American Hostages, Mother and Daughter, to Red Cross in Egypt

Judith and Natalie Raanan
Raanan Family

The Palestinian Hamas terrorist group released Evanston, Illinois, residents Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter Natalie Raanan, 17, to the Red Cross in Egypt on Friday.

Multiple sources reported the release, and their rabbi in the Chicago suburbs confirmed that they had been freed — leaving 201 hostages still being held by Palestinian terrorists in Gaza.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported:

Judith Raanan, 59, and her daughter Natalie Raanan, 17, were taken to Egypt and handed over to the Red Cross, Rabbi Dov Hillel Klein said Friday, citing sources in Israel.

“Why they chose these two I do not know, but it’s a miracle,” said Klein, executive director of Chabad of Evanston where Judith Raanan attends.

“The fact that they’re being released is unbelievable. Our prayers worked. While it’s a huge relief, there are still hundreds of other hostages who also need to be released,” Klein said.

The Raanans were taken from Kibbutz Nahal Oz. Judith is an aesthetician; Natalie had just graduated from Deerfield High School.

Judith Raanan’s sister recounted the kidnapping to Time magazine:

Saturday morning, we woke up to a devastating war. There were 150 terrorists in the kibbutz. I was in touch with [Natalie and Judith] through WhatsApp messages, because everybody there was told not to speak over the phone, or just whisper. The last message was at 12:18. Natalie wrote that they’re hearing shots, and they’re in the security room. And they’re OK and they love us. That was the last signal of life we had from them. They stopped answering me.

Hamas took the two husbands and Judith and Natalie handcuffed into a car, they were alive and uninjured according to the eyewitness. We know that they can be found alive. We know from an eyewitness that Hamas took them uninjured. This is why we have hope. We know that they left there on their feet, unharmed, from that apartment. But since then, we know nothing. And this is why time is crucial.

Earlier Friday, Israelis honored the missing hostages by hosting a Sabbath dinner for their families in Tel Aviv:

Hamas murdered many members of the Nahal Oz community, including almost the entire Zohar family, leaving only a 13-year-old son — who was spared because he had been out for a jog — to bury his parents and siblings.

Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.


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