US man hails the release of his daughter, granddaughter who were held by Hamas

A man whose Chicago-area daughter and granddaughter were abducted by Hamas in southern Israel says he has spoken to his daughter since her release and that he believes she will be home soon.

“She’s doing good. She’s doing very good,” Uri Raanan, who is based in the Chicago suburb of Bannockburn, said Friday.

“I’m in tears, and I feel very, very good.”

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The 71-year-old said he saw on the news Friday that Hamas was releasing an American mother and daughter, and he spent the day hoping they meant his daughter, Judith Raanan, and his granddaughter, 17-year-old Natalie, who live in Evanston.

He said he believes Natalie and Judith are on their way to Tel Aviv to reunite with relatives before returning to the U.S., meaning Natalie will be able to celebrate her 18th birthday next week with family and friends.

The release is the result of the negotiations between Qatar and Hamas that started after Hamas abducted around 200 people from Israel on October 7.  Credit: Government of Israel via AP

The release is the result of the negotiations between Qatar and Hamas that started after Hamas abducted around 200 people from Israel on October 7.

“In response to Qatari efforts, Al-Qassam Brigades 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,” Hamas spokesperson Abu Obaida said in a statement.

The White House has not commented. The Israeli prime minister’s office has not commented. CNN has reached out to the Red Cross.

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