Skip to main content

Hamas releases two US hostages held in Gaza after Qatari mediation

The US and Israeli governments confirmed that Hamas released an American mother and daughter who were kidnapped during the group's Oct. 7 attacks.
People carry placards bearing pictures of missing persons as they protest for the release of Israelis held hostage by Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip, outside the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv on October 19, 2023.

WASHINGTON — Hamas has released two US citizens held hostage in the Gaza Strip since the militant group’s assault on Israel nearly two weeks ago, the US and Israeli governments said Friday. 

“Today, we have secured the release of two Americans taken hostage by Hamas during the horrific terrorist assault against Israel on October 7,” President Joe Biden said in a statement. 

“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 said. 

The Israeli prime minister's office identified the two Americans as Judith Tai Raanan, 59, and Natalie Shoshana Raanan, 17. The mother and daughter are from Evanston, Ill., and were visiting family in Israel at the time of their abduction from a kibbutz in the country's south.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.