American Hostages Free

WASHINGTON – An American woman and her teenage daughter held hostage for nearly two weeks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas after its surprise attack on Israel were freed on Friday.

Israel’s foreign ministry identified the released hostages as Judith Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan, of Evanston, Illinois. The two had traveled to Israel to celebrate a relative’s 85th birthday and the Jewish holiday season.

The two Americans were released in an agreement with Qatar for “humanitarian reasons.” CNN, citing a source familiar with the negotiations, said the two have been handed over to the Red Cross and are “on their way out.”

They are safely in the hands of Israeli authorities in Israel, he said, and a team from the U.S. embassy is expected to see them shortly according to Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken.

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