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Natalie Raanan, 18, returns home to Chicago – 10 days after being released by Hamas terrorists who kidnapped her and her mother from Israel


An American teenager has returned home to Chicago 10 days after being released by Hamas who kidnapped her and her mother from Israel. 

Natalie Shoshana Raanan, 18, and Judith Tai Raanan, 59, were released by the terrorists earlier this month after they were kept hostage for 13 days. 

The pair got out of Gaza without obvious injuries, exiting a car before being surrounded by ICRC staff wearing vests bearing the red cross. 

Yinam Cohen, the Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, said Natalie returned home Monday to Evanston, a suburb of Chicago. 

‘I am relieved to see Natalie back home in Chicago. Her family members have been anxiously waiting for her return, and today I am sharing their happiness,’ Cohen said.

Natalie Shoshana Raanan, 18, returned to Evanston, Chicago on Monday, 10 days after being released by Hama terrorists

Natalie Shoshana Raanan, 18, returned to Evanston, Chicago on Monday, 10 days after being released by Hama terrorists

Natalie  and her mother Judith Tai Raanan, 59, (pictured) were released for for 'humanitarian reasons'

Natalie  and her mother Judith Tai Raanan, 59, (pictured) were released for for ‘humanitarian reasons’

‘While we’re celebrating Natalie’s return, we remember the 239 hostages, among them babies, children, women, and the elderly, who are still held by Hamas in Gaza.’

Following their release, a picture of them tightly hugging their relatives in Israel was posted on social media. 

The two had been in Israel to celebrate a relative’s birthday and the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah when they were taken hostage by Hamas.  

The terrorist attacks left more than 1,400 people dead, and at least 230 being taken hostage, making it the worst attack on civilians in the state’s history.

Gunmen broke through the border barrier with Gaza, sparking a war between Israel and Hamas and its sister group, Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Hamas said the pair, who have US-Israeli citizenship, were freed for ‘humanitarian reasons’. 

Hamas hostages Judith Raanan and Natalie Raanan, a mother and daughter from Chicago, have been released by the terror group

Hamas hostages Judith Raanan and Natalie Raanan, a mother and daughter from Chicago, have been released by the terror group

Natalie Raanan and her mother Judith are seen speaking to Joe Biden, in a photo released on Friday night by the US embassy in Israel

Natalie Raanan and her mother Judith are seen speaking to Joe Biden, in a photo released on Friday night by the US embassy in Israel

Natalie’s father Uri Raanan, 71, had previously said: ”She’s doing good. She’s doing very good. 

‘She did not tell me anything. But she told me they treat her nice, and she was doing very good.

‘I’m going to hug her and kiss her, and it’s going to be the best day of my life.’\

The father said he first learned of the possible release through Israeli television, and then received a call from the IDF.

He described the last 13 days as ‘the worst situation,’ adding that he had been kept in the dark by their captors.

‘I did not sleep at night and my head was always in Israel. Lots of phone calls, lots of TV. I’ve been glued to the tv for two weeks, hoping for good news – and finally it came,’ he said.

‘I did not lose hope. Praying, and just waiting for this moment.’

Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said: ‘Two of our abducted are home.

‘We are not giving up the effort to bring all of the hostages and missing people home. At the same time, we are continuing to fight until victory.’

Natalie and her mother were visiting family in Israel for the Jewish holidays and a relative's 85th birthday

Natalie and her mother were visiting family in Israel for the Jewish holidays and a relative’s 85th birthday

So far, Hamas has only released four individuals, the Raanan’s and Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifschitz, 85. 

Earlier today, Israeli troops pushed deeper into Gaza, driving tanks and armored bulldozers through the rubble as they scoured for Hamas militants. 

Israel said it had struck 300 targets during the fourth night of land operations in Gaza, where troops came under Hamas anti-tank and machine-gun fire.

Netanyahu has dismissed mounting international calls for a ceasefire. 

He said pausing operations now would be a ‘surrender’ to the Palestinian militant group responsible for brutal raids on Israeli homes, farms and villages that killed an estimated 1,400 people, according to Israeli officials. 

Smoke rises following an Israeli strike inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from Israel, October 31, 2023

Smoke rises following an Israeli strike inside the Gaza Strip, as seen from Israel, October 31, 2023

Israeli soldiers drive medical military vehicles near Israel's border with Lebanon, in northern Israel, October 31, 2023

Israeli soldiers drive medical military vehicles near Israel’s border with Lebanon, in northern Israel, October 31, 2023

The incursion scored an early victory Monday with the the rescue of Private Ori Megidish, an Israeli soldier in Hamas captivity., 

Private Megidish was reunited with her family and provided ‘intelligence that we’ll be able to use for future operations,’ said army spokesman Jonathan Conricus. 

The humanitarian toll has sparked a global backlash, with aid groups and the United Nations saying time is running out for many of the territory’s 2.4 million people denied access to food, water, fuel and medicine.

Surgeons are conducting amputations on hospital floors without anesthetic, and children are forced to drink salty water, said Jean-Francois Corty, vice-president of Medecins Sans Frontieres, which has 20 staff on the ground.

Israel has accused Hamas of using hospitals as military headquarters and civilians as ‘human shields’, charges the Islamist militants dismiss as ‘baseless’ propaganda. 



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