Hamas Releases Two American Hostages

RNS: Two American hostages were released by members of the Hamas group, the Prime Minister’s office of Israel confirmed on Saturday. They were kidnapped during the initial attack carried out by Hamas against Israel around two weeks ago,

The released US citizens have been identified as Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter Natalie Raanan. The Prime Minister of Israel’s official page reported: “This evening, Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan were released by the terrorist organization Hamas.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, speaking on releasing the two US citizens, stated, “Two of our kidnapped citizens are now home. We will not relent in our effort to return all of the kidnapped and the missing. At the same time, we continue to fight until victory.”

US President Joe Biden confirmed that he had spoken with the two Americans following their release from Hamas’s custody. He assured them that their government would fully support them in their recovery and healing.

Biden further expressed his solidarity with the families of unaccounted-for Americans and conveyed his joy at the released individuals’ upcoming reunification with their families.

He stated, “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 emphasized the continuous efforts to secure the release of other American citizens who are still being held, thanking Qatar and the government of Israel for their partnership in this endeavor.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken confirmed that the two released persons were currently in the safe hands of Israeli authorities and that a team from the US Embassy would meet with them shortly. He reiterated the relentless efforts to secure the release of American citizens and other hostages.

Hamas had launched a surprise attack on Israel on October 7, involving the firing of thousands of rockets and the infiltration of Israeli territory, which resulted in the seizure of a significant number of hostages.

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