Hamas has released two American hostages, a mother and a daughter, whom it was holding in the Gaza Strip. The release was confirmed by an organization dedicated to the rescue of the more than 200 hostages the terrorist group captured in its Oct. 7 invasion.
“The families headquarters congratulates the release of hostages from Hamas captivity,” the Hostages and Missing Families Forum said in a message it distributed to reporters on WhatsApp. “The continued holding of hostages is a war crime. Hundreds of families await the assistance of leaders of Arab states after Hamas’ actions shocked the entire world.”
Foreign reports named the women as Natalie and Judith Raanan of Evanston, Illinois.
Media reports said the two were a mother and a daughter, who were released to the Red Cross. A Red Cross spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.
A spokeswoman for the Families Forum, Liat Bell Sommer, confirmed that the two hostages are American, but said she could not provide further details at the request of the families.
A Hamas spokesman told reporters on a Telegram channel that it had “released two American citizens (a mother and her daughter) for 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.”
President Joe Biden has backed Israel in its war against Hamas since the terrorist group invaded Israel, killing 1,400 people, most of them civilians, wounding thousands and kidnapping more than 200. Israel declared war on Hamas following the invasion.