Israel-Hamas War

First photo of Evanston mother and daughter released since being freed by Hamas

NBC Universal, Inc.

The Israeli military has released the first photo of an Evanston mother and daughter following their release by Hamas after being taken hostage by the terrorist organization two weeks ago.

Judith Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter Natalie, were out of the Gaza Strip and in the hands of the Israeli military late Friday, an army spokesman said. Hamas said it released them for humanitarian reasons in an agreement with the Qatari government.

Israel Defense Forces distributed a photo of the mother and daughter, accompanied by military members.

The pair, who was kidnapped while visiting family, were the first hostages to be released. More than 200 were still being held as of late Friday.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said he welcomes the release of the two hostages and shared in the families’ relief but noted there are many more captives, including children and elderly people.

Speaking to reporters Friday, Blinken said he and President Joe Biden had been able to speak with the families of some of the hostages during their trips to the Middle East.

“It’s impossible to adequately put into words the agony that they’re feeling,” Blinken said. “No family anywhere should have to experience this torture.”

Of the remaining hostages, he added: “The entire United States government will work every minute of every day to secure their release and bring their loved ones home.”

NBC Chicago/Associated Press
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