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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Hamas Frees 2 U.S. Hostages at Price Tag of $50M Apiece

'We have heard tentatively that she might be coming back to Chicago sometime early next week...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) Hamas released an American mother and daughter from captivity after taking them hostage from the kibbutz they visited earlier this month. 

Judith Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie, were freed following the intervention of the Qatari government, bringing an end to their harrowing weeks-long ordeal at the hands of the Hamas terrorists. The captors had stormed southern Israel on Oct. 17, as confirmed by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu via Twitter on Friday.

“This evening, Judith Tai Raanan and her daughter Natalie Shoshana Raanan were released by the terrorist organization Hamas,” the prime minister said. “The two were kidnapped by the organization during the murderous surprise attack on Saturday, October 7, 2023, while they were staying in Kibbutz Nahal Oz as house guests.” 

Coinciding with their release, the U.S. and Israeli governments greenlit the transfer of $100 million in aid to the Gaza Strip. The Red Cross facilitated the transfer of the two Americans from Hamas-controlled Gaza to Israel.

President Joe Biden extended on Friday his support to the victims in response to the release. “I just spoke with the two Americans released today after being held hostage by Hamas. I let them know that their government will fully support them as they recover and heal,” he said on Twitter. “Jill and I will continue holding close in our hearts all the families of unaccounted for Americans.”

According to the Times of Israel, a Hamas spokesperson for Hamas claimed the release was motivated by “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.” 

Raanan’s brother, in a statement to CNN, expressed hope for her imminent return. 

“We have heard tentatively that she might be coming back to Chicago sometime early next week,” he disclosed, according to the New York Post. “This all moved so quickly, I was getting texts from reporters I met with saying this happened… I believe it’s because the government didn’t want to call us before it had been confirmed.”

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