US President Biden speaks with US-Israeli hostages freed from Gaza


US President Joe Biden spoke by phone on Saturday with Judith and Natalie Raanan, who were freed the night before from captivity in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

The mother and daughter were taken hostage from Kibbutz Nahal Oz during Hamas’ invasion of southern Israel on October 7, which killed 1,400 people and resulted in the kidnapping of more than 200. The two live in Chicago and They were visiting Israel to celebrate a family member’s birthday.

On Friday afternoon, Biden issued a statement taking credit for the couple’s release and thanking “the government of Qatar and the government of Israel for their partnership in this work.”

“Our fellow citizens have endured a terrible ordeal these past 14 days, and I am delighted that they will soon be reunited with their family, who have been tormented by fear,” Biden said.

“These individuals and their families will have the full support of the United States government as they recover and heal, and we must all respect their privacy at this time,” he added.

The Israel Defense Forces have informed 210 families that their loved ones have been kidnapped and taken to Gaza. The military also stressed that the situation is complex and it is possible that some have died.

Among those kidnapped are between 20 and 30 children and between 10 and 20 people over 60 years of age. Among the hostages are citizens of eight or nine countries, in addition to Israel.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been modified by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First published: October 21, 2023 | 23:39 IS

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