Chicago teen held hostage by Hamas returns to US

US teenager Natalie Raanan, held hostage after Hamas‘ October 7 attack on Israel and later released, has returned home to Chicago, the local Israeli consulate said Tuesday.

Raanan and her mother Judith were visiting relatives in Israel when they were taken hostage.

Both have since been released, though her mother stayed in Israel, Chicago media reported.

“I am relieved to see Natalie back home in Chicago,” Yinam Cohen, the Consul General of Israel to the Midwest, said in a statement.

“Her family members have been anxiously waiting for her return, and today I am sharing their happiness.”

Both women live in Evanston, just north of the city.

The two were released October 20, in the first hostage release confirmed by both sides.

Hamas took the hostages, believed to now number around 240, during a bloody cross-border raid on Israeli communities and military posts, killing 1,400 people, according to Israeli officials.

In response, Israeli warplanes have kept up a relentless barrage of strikes on Gaza, where the Hamas-run health ministry said that 8,525 people had died so far, including over 3,500 children.

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French international news agency headquartered in Paris, France. Founded in 1835 as Havas, it is the world's oldest news agency.

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