The Palestinian militant group Hamas is releasing two U.S. hostages from the Chicago area. Hamas cited humanitarian reasons for letting Natalie and Judith Raanan from Evanston go as the mother is in poor health. It’s reportedly in response to mediation efforts from Qatar. The two Americans have been reportedly handed over to the Red Cross and are on their way out of Gaza. It’s unclear if they will go to Israel or Egypt. Hamas abducted around 200 people from Israel earlier this month.
After the release of Natalie and Judith Raanan, Governor JB Pritzker issued the following statement:
I am incredibly relieved that Natalie and Judith Raanan of Evanston have been released from captivity in Gaza. In what was supposed to be a visit to their loving family in Israel, they were violently abducted by a terrorist organization. After being held against their will for nearly two weeks, they are now safe and receiving necessary medical treatment. I cannot wait to welcome them back home after demonstrating immense strength and bravery in the face of unthinkable terror. We must continue to advocate and pray for the safe return of those still held by Hamas. We will not let those who use terror as their weapon win.