Israel-Palestine conflict: Hamas releases 2 US hostages

Israel confirmed the two hostages had been released and were in the country

By AFP

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The families of Israelis who are missing or being held hostage stand by a set dinner table with empty chairs that symbolically represent hostages with families that are waiting for them to come home. — Reuters
The families of Israelis who are missing or being held hostage stand by a set dinner table with empty chairs that symbolically represent hostages with families that are waiting for them to come home. — Reuters

Published: Fri 20 Oct 2023, 9:30 PM

Last updated: Fri 20 Oct 2023, 11:36 PM

Palestinian Hamas on Friday released two American hostages, from around 200 captives abducted in attacks by the group in Israel on October 7, Israel and the group said.

"In response to Qatari efforts, (Ezzedine) al-Qassam Brigades released two American citizens (a mother and her daughter) for humanitarian reasons," Hamas said in a statement posted on Telegram.


Israel later confirmed two hostages had been released and were in the country.

Judith Tai Raanan and Natalie Shoshana Raanan were freed nearly two weeks after they were abducted from Nahal Oz kibbutz, the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.


The Israeli military said earlier on Friday that most of those abducted to Gaza were still alive.

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"The majority of the hostages are alive. There were also dead bodies that were taken... to the Gaza Strip," an army statement said.

The military said more than 20 hostages were minors, while between 10 and 20 were over the age of 60.

There are also between 100 and 200 people considered missing since the Hamas attacks, the army added.

On October 7, the Palestinian group carried out a deadly assault on Israel, the worst in the country's 75-year history, killing more than 1,400 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli officials.



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