(ConservativeSense.com) – The family of two freed American hostages says they won’t celebrate until everyone held by the terrorist group Hamas is released. Mother and daughters Judith Tai Raanan and Natalie Raanan were handed over to Israeli officials on October 20 after enduring days of detention with Hamas. They were among approximately 200 people kidnapped from Israel during the terrorist attack on civilians on October 7.
The Raanans from Illinois were in Israel to visit family and celebrate the Jewish holiday Simchat Torah when Hamas abducted Judith, Natalie, and eight other family members. Uri Raanan, Natalie’s father, told the press that the family does not have the privilege of celebrating. “We remain entirely focused on the efforts to secure the return of our eight other family members that remain captive in Gaza,” he said.
President Biden spoke to the two women by phone and published a video of the call on Twitter. They thanked Biden for his services to Israel, which the President described as “long-serving.” In a statement released later by the White House, President Biden said the family and all other US hostages have the full support of the US government as they “recover from this terrible ordeal.”
The White House released a statement on the hostage situation more broadly and stated that we are at a point in history where our decisions will determine life for generations. Biden described meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who described the horrific events of October 7. At least 32 Americans died on the day, and an unknown number remain in captivity. “As President, there is no higher priority for me than the safety of Americans held hostage,” the statement reads.
The President also met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and told him that Hamas’s actions have not diminished Palestinians’ right to their own state and “dignity and self-determination.”
The White House statement clarified that Israel was not responsible for an explosion at a hospital in Gaza on October 17.
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