Published Oct 21, 2023 at 11:58 AM IST

Hamas Releases First Hostages

Hamas on Friday released an American woman and her teenage daughter it had held hostage in Gaza, Israel said, the first such release from among the roughly 200 people the terrorist group abducted from Israel during its Oct. 7 rampage.

The two Americans, Judith Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter Natalie, were out of the Gaza Strip and in the hands of the Israeli military, an army spokesman said. Hamas said it released them for humanitarian reasons in an agreement with the Qatari government.

The release comes amid growing expectations of an expected ground offensive that Israel says is aimed at rooting out Hamas militants who rule the Gaza Strip. Israel said Friday it does not plan to take long-term control over the tiny territory, home to some 2.3 million people.

US President Joe Biden has welcomed the release of a Chicago-area woman and her teenage daughter who had been visiting Israel when they were taken hostage by Hamas militants Oct. 7

Published October 21st, 2023 at 11:58 IST

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