Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern


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Evanston teenager held hostage by Hamas has returned to Chicago area, Israeli Consulate says

Natalie+Raanan+and+her+mother%2C+Judith+Raanan%2C+were+visiting+family+in+Israel+when+Hamas+attacked+Israel+in+early+October.
Photo courtesy of Rabbi Meir Hecht
Natalie Raanan and her mother, Judith Raanan, were visiting family in Israel when Hamas attacked Israel in early October.

Natalie Raanan, an Evanston teenager who was taken hostage by Hamas Oct. 7 and was released earlier this month, has returned to the Chicago area, the Consul General of Israel to the Midwest announced Monday evening.

Natalie Raanan and her mother, Judith Raanan, were visiting family in Israel when Hamas attacked Israel in early October. The attack prompted Israel to declare war on Hamas, with the ensuing violence leaving over 9,400 Israelis and Palestinians dead and sparking a humanitarian crisis in the region.

The mother and daughter were released to Red Cross representatives Oct. 20, but Monday’s announcement did not indicate whether Judith Raanan has arrived in Chicago. A spokesperson for Hamas’ armed wing said Judith Raanan was in poor health when she was released.

“I am relieved to see Natalie back home in Chicago,” Consul General of Israel to the Midwest Yinam Cohen said in a Monday evening Tweet. “Her family members have been anxiously waiting for her return, and today I am sharing their happiness.”

Cohen added that family members of Americans still being held hostage by Hamas will travel to Chicago this week to call for Hamas to release their relatives.

The days following the disappearance of Judith and Natalie Raanan from Israel prompted an outpouring of support from the Evanston community. The mother and daughter are congregants of Evanston Chabad, and Natalie is a recent graduate of nearby Deerfield High School.

A fundraiser by Chabad of Evanston to support the pair’s financial needs when they return home has raised nearly $12,000.

Email: [email protected] 

Twitter: @saullpink

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