On Saturday, Judith and Natalie Raanan, who had been released from captivity in the Gaza Strip controlled by Hamas the day before, chatted with President Joe Biden over the phone.
The mother and daughter were abducted by Hamas during their invasion of southern Israel on October 7, which left 1,400 people dead and over 200 more missing. In a statement Friday afternoon, Biden claimed responsibility for the pair’s release and expressed gratitude to “the governments of Qatar and Israel for their collaboration in this work.
“Our fellow citizens have suffered through a terrible ordeal these past 14 days, and I am ecstatic that they will soon be reunited with their family, who has been gripped by fear,” stated Biden.
He continued, “We should all respect their privacy at this time. These people and their families will have the full support of the United States government as they recover and heal. 210 families have been informed by the Israel Defense Forces that their loved ones have been abducted and transported to Gaza.
The military emphasized the complexity of the situation and the possibility of fatalities. Around 20 to 30 minors and 10 to 20 people over the age of 60 are among the abducted. Citizens aged eight or nine are among the captives.
Judith and Natalie, I’m so glad you’re coming home. pic.twitter.com/c7az0PcYXn
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 21, 2023